Rising prices and famine threaten dozens of countries

this report above Famine Hotspot » (Famine Hotspot) published byFood and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Food Program (WFP) call for urgent humanitarian action in 20 hotspot »where acute famine is expected to worsen from June to September 2022, to save lives and livelihoods, and prevent hunger.

The report warns that war in ukraine has exacerbated the steady rise in food and energy prices around the world, affecting economic stability in all regions. The effects are expected to be particularly severe when economic uncertainty and rising prices are combined with a decline in food production due to climate shocks such as recurrent droughts or floods.

We are deeply concerned about the combined effects of overlapping crises that have reduced people’s ability to produce and access food, leaving millions of people with severe food insecurity in the region. severity. »FAO Director General QU Dongyu said. We are racing against time to help farmers of the worst-affected countries, in particular to rapidly increase potential food production and strengthen resilience to challenges. ».

We are facing a raging storm that will not only affect the poorest of the poor – it will overwhelm millions of families who have so far been barely able to hold their heads up. on the water. »WFP CEO David Beasley warned.

Conditions today are much worse than during the Arab Spring of 2011 and the 2007-2008 food price crisis, when 48 countries were rocked by political unrest, riots and protests. We’ve seen what’s happening in Indonesia, Pakistan, Peru and Sri Lanka – this is just the tip of the iceberg. We have solutions. But we must act, and act quickly »he added.

Main results

The report shows that, along with conflict, frequent and recurrent climate shocks continue to cause severe hunger, and highlights that we have entered a new normal » where droughts, floods, hurricanes and cyclones continuously ravage agriculture and livestock, causing population displacement and pushed millions of people to the brink in countries around the world.

The report warns that worrisome climate trends associated with La Niña since the end of 2020 are expected to continue into 2022, increasing humanitarian needs and severe hunger. An unprecedented drought in East Africa affecting Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya resulted in the fourth consecutive season of below-average rainfall.

South Sudan will face a fourth consecutive year of large-scale flooding, which will likely continue to push people out of their homes and devastate crop and livestock production.

The report also forecasts above-average rains and a risk of localized flooding in the Sahel, a more intense hurricane season in the Caribbean and below-average rains in Afghanistan, which is already reeling from several seasons of drought. drought, violence and political upheaval.

The report also highlights the urgency of dire macroeconomic conditions in some countries – caused by fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic and exacerbated by recent volatility in global food and energy markets. These conditions lead to significant income losses in the poorest communities and strain the ability of national governments to fund social safety nets, income support measures, and more. and import essential goods.

According to the report, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Sudan and Yemen remain in maximum warning » are hotspots with dire conditions, with Afghanistan and Somalia have fallen into this worrisome category since the last hotspots report was released in January 2022. These six countries all have populations facing a ‘catastrophic’ phase of the pandemic. Classified as Integrated Food Security (IPC 5) or at risk of degradation to catastrophic conditions, with 750,000 people facing famine-like conditions. 400,000 of them in the Tigray region of Ethiopia – the highest number recorded in any country since the 2011 Somali famine.

Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Sahel, Sudan and Syria remain very worrisome » with worsening severe conditions, as in the previous edition of this report – with Kenya making this list. Sri Lanka, the coastal states of West Africa (Benin, Cape Verde and Guinea), Ukraine and Zimbabwe have been added to the list of hot countries, with Angola, Lebanon, Madagascar and Mozambique continuing to be hotspots of the disease. hungry – according to reports.

Increased action planned to prevent disaster

The report makes specific, country-specific recommendations on priorities for an immediate humanitarian response to save lives, prevent hunger and protect livelihoods, as well as proactive measures. Recent G7 engagements highlight the importance of enhancing predictive action in humanitarian aid and development – by ensuring that foreseeable hazards do not turn into real humanitarian disasters.

FAO and WFP have partnered to increase the scale and scope of proactive action, to protect communities’ lives, food security and livelihoods before they need the critical support between early warning and shock. Flexible humanitarian capital enables FAO and WFP to anticipate humanitarian and life-saving needs. Evidence shows that for every US$1 invested in actions intended to protect lives and livelihoods, up to US$7 can be saved to avoid damage to communities affected by disaster.

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