UN food agencies warn of rising levels of acute hunger with potential risk of famine in four hotspots

UN food agencies warn of rising levels of acute hunger with potential risk of famine in four hotspots

06/11/2020

The world has been put on a heightened famine alert with a new report by two United Nations agencies that contains a stark warning; four countries contain areas that could soon slip into famine if conditions there undergo "any further deterioration over the coming months". These are Burkina Faso in West Africa's Sahel region, northeastern Nigeria, South Sudan and Yemen.

The Early Warning Analysis of Acute Food Insecurity Hotspots - issued today by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) - describes a toxic combination of conflict, economic decline, climate extremes and the COVID-19 pandemic that is driving people further into the emergency phase of food insecurity.

Parts of the population in the four hotspots of highest concern are already experiencing a critical hunger situation, with the report warning that escalations in conflict as well as a further reduction in humanitarian access could lead to a risk of famine.

But these four countries are far from being the only red flag on a world map that shows that acute food insecurity levels are reaching new highs globally, driven by a combination of factors, the report notes. Another 16 countries are at high risk of rising levels of acute hunger.