Soaring prices and famine threaten the stability of 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 the war in Ukraine has exacerbated already steady rise in food and energy prices around the world, affecting economic stability in all regions. The effects are expected to be especially harsh when economic uncertainty and rising prices are combined with a decline in food production due to climate shocks such as drought or recurrent 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 in the worst-affected countries, in particular, rapidly increase their potential food production and strengthen their 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.



© WFP / Francis Thawani

In Malawi, rising food prices are pushing the poorest to the brink of starvation.

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 wreak havoc on agriculture and livestock, displacing people and pushing millions 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 localized flood risk in the Sahel, a more intense hurricane season in the Caribbean, and below-average rains in Afghanistan, which has already reeled from several seasons of drought. drought, violence and political upheaval.

The report also highlights the urgency of dire macroeconomic conditions in a number of countries – driven by the catastrophic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and exacerbated by recent volatility. in the 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 are still in maximum warning » hotspots with dire conditions, with Afghanistan and Somalia falling into this worrisome category since the last hotspot report was published in January 2022. These six countries all have sub-populations face a ‘catastrophic’ phase of the Integrated Food Security Stage Classification (IPC 5) or risk becoming catastrophically worse, 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 seriously deteriorating conditions, as in the previous edition of this report – with Kenya making this list. Sri Lanka, the coastal countries 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 crime. 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 emphasizes the importance of increased proactive action in humanitarian assistance and development – ​​ensuring that predictable hazards do not turn into full-blown humanitarian disasters.

FAO and WFP have partnered to increase the scale and scope of proactive actions 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 impacted by disaster.

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