UN says hunger surges amid deadly conflicts, poor weather conditions in many countries
United Nation’s agriculture agency Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said that despite ample food supplies, persistent conflicts and adverse climate shocks are still taking a toll on global food security.
FAO’s new Crop Prospects and Food Situation reveals that since its last report in March, the number of countries requiring external food assistance has jumped by two, namely Cabo Verde and Senegal, to 39.
According to the report, civil war and insecurity in Africa and the Middle East have displaced millions – resulting in high hunger rates.
“Poor rains have hit cereal production prospects in South America and Southern Africa,” FAO explained.
“Unfavourable weather conditions are also placing a heavy burden on pastoralists in West Africa,” it added.
Right now, the food insecure countries on FAO’s list are: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Haiti, Iraq, Kenya, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zimbabwe.
“Conflicts have choked agricultural activity in swathes of Central Africa, notably in the Central African Republic and parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where access to food is further hindered by surging inflation,” FAO further said.
In the absence of humanitarian assistance, the number of severely food insecure people in South Sudan is expected to rise to 7.1 million people during the June-July lean season.