Acute food insecurity is likely to deteriorate further in 20 countries or situations, including Ethiopia, from June to September 2022, according to the joint UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP) report.
The joint report, entitled “Hunger Hotspots: FAO-WFP Early Warnings On Acute Food Insecurity June to September 2022 Outlook” and published early this week, said acute food insecurity continues to escalate globally.
Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Sudan, and Yemen remain at the highest alert level as in the previous edition of this report. Afghanistan and Somalia have been added to the list in this year’s edition of the report.
“These countries all have some populations identified or projected to experience starvation or death or at risk of deterioration toward catastrophic conditions, and require the most urgent attention,” the report said.
After projecting 401,000 people facing catastrophic conditions in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region in 2021, only 10 percent of required assistance arrived in the region until March 2022, the report said. The local agricultural production, which was 40 percent of the average, was critical for food security and livelihoods.
“Any new outbreak of fighting could lead to further major acute food insecurity considering the existing catastrophic situation in the region,” the report read.
It said the recent humanitarian truce, which remains fragile, has allowed for some convoys to reach the region. The Famine Review Committee’s 2021 scenarios of a Risk of Famine for Tigray might remain relevant unless humanitarian access stabilizes, the report said.
According to the report, the Ukraine crisis has already caused immense destruction of livelihoods, supply chains, infrastructure, and contamination with explosive ordnances in the country, as well as large-scale displacement in the country and regionally.
“The conflict in Ukraine is compounding what is already a year of catastrophic hunger, unleashing a wave of collateral hunger that is spreading across the globe, transforming a series of terrible hunger crises into a global food crisis the world cannot afford,” it said.
As Ukraine is a major global food supplier, the current supply disruptions are aggravating already high international prices, which complicates access to food and could result in localized shortages, the report said.
In addition to manmade disasters, the report stressed that natural catastrophes, including drought, are further deepening the food insecurity crisis among the affected areas.
Recurrent La Nina events since late 2020 have impacted agricultural activities, causing crop and livestock losses in many parts of the world, including Afghanistan and Eastern Africa, it said.