Resilience
Bari Payam, South Sudan where FAO has distributed seeds and essential farming tools to hundreds of households. In South Sudan as in other "hotspot" countries farming families and other vulnerable communities could face food crises that are aggravated by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. ©FAO/Mayak Akuot

New report identifies 27 countries heading for COVID-19-driven food crises

17/07/2020

FAO and WFP collaborate on a unique analysis of countries on the precipice of what could be the worst food crisis in generations

New analysis out today by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP) identifies 27 countries that are on the frontline of impending COVID-19-driven food crises, as the pandemic's knock-on effects aggravate pre-existing drivers of hunger.

No world region is immune, from Afghanistan and Bangladesh in Asia, to Haiti, Venezuela and Central America, to Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan and Syria in the Middle East to Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Liberia Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Mozambique, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe in Africa.

The joint analysis by FAO and WFP warns these "hotspot countries" are at high risk of - and in some cases are already seeing - significant food security deteriorations in the coming months, including rising numbers of people pushed into acute hunger.

These countries were already grappling with high levels of food insecurity and acute hunger even before COVID-19, due to pre-existing shocks and stressors such as economic crises, instability and insecurity, climate extremes, and, plant pests and animal diseases, noted FAO Director-General QU Dongyu.

"Now they are on the frontline and bearing the brunt of COVID-19's disruptive effects on food systems, which are fuelling a hunger crisis within a health crisis," he said, adding: "We must not think of this as a risk that will emerge sometime down the line.  We cannot treat this as tomorrow's problem. We need to do more to safeguard both food systems and our most vulnerable populations - right now."

 

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