India’s neighbors, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Myanmar, are among the hotspots for hunger around the globe, as an updated United Nations early warning report has revealed warning of an increase in acute food insecurity across several areas of the world.
Economic shocks are getting worse and continue to push countries with low and middle incomes further into crisis. A probable El Nino climatic phenomenon is increasing the risk of extreme weather in the most vulnerable countries across the world, as evidenced by the Hunger Hotspots FAO-WFP’s early warnings of severe food insecurity, issued on May 29, 2023.
Urgent humanitarian action is needed to save lives and livelihoods and prevent starvation and death in hotspots where acute hunger is at a high risk of worsening from June to November 2023.
Acute food insecurity could be a risk of increasing in both severity and intensity for the 18 regions in 22 countries, as per the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) as well as the World Food Programme (WFP).
Numerous hotspots are confronting rising hunger crises, according to the report, highlighting the alarming multiplier impact that overlapping and simultaneous effects are having on severe food security. Conflict, extreme weather, and economic changes continue to push ever more communities into a state of crisis.
Afghanistan, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen remain at the level of highest concern, according to the report. Haiti, Somalia, the Sahel (Burkina Faso ), and Mali) as well as Sudan, are elevated to the highest risk levels.
These countries are either facing or expected to suffer the threat of starvation or of becoming a victim of catastrophic circumstances due to their severe food insecurity and face serious aggravating factors. These countries need the highest level of attention.
Pakistan, the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Syrian Arab Republic are hotspots with very high concern. The warning is also extended to Myanmar.
These hotspots host a large number of people who are suffering from acute and critical food insecurity, accompanied by the escalating severity of drivers, which are likely to exacerbate life-threatening situations in the coming months.
Lebanon, El Salvador, and Nicaragua have been joined to the lists of hotspots, as of in the edition for September 20, 2022. Malawi, Guatemala, and Honduras remain hotspots for hunger.
QU Dongyu, FAO director-general, said:
Traditional pathways for business are no longer a viable option in the current risk landscape if we are to ensure food security for everyone and ensure that nobody is left out.
Sudan crisis spillover
New conflicts that are emerging and, particularly, the escalating of conflicts in Sudan, are likely to influence global trends in competition and will affect several countries in the region, The FAO and WFP stated.
The spillover from the crisis in Sudan is driving massive population displacement and desire among people forced from their homes in search of refuge and those hosting them, the report warned.
More than a million people are set to leave the country, in addition to another 2.5 million living inside the country expected to be suffering from extreme hunger in the coming months.
The Sudan is already home to over one million refugees, and if the war continues, hundreds of thousands will likely return to the countries where they came from.
A number of these countries are experiencing the refugee crisis, which is underfunded and prolonged and exacerbated by social, economic, and political stressors in the report.