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Famine looms in Somalia, but many ‘hunger hotspots’ are in deep trouble

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  In Somalia hundreds of thousands are already facing hunger today and staggering levels of malnutrition are expected among children under the age of five warned the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations FAO and the World Program for Food WFP Large scale deaths from starvation are increasingly likely in the East African nation UN agencies continued noting that unless adequate aid arrives analysts expect by December up to four children or two adults for every 10 000 people will die every day Complex Roots In addition to the emergency already unfolding in Somalia UN agencies pinpointed 18 more deeply related hunger hotspots whose problems have been created by conflict drought economic uncertainty the COVID and Russia s invasion of Ukraine Aid workers are particularly concerned about Afghanistan Ethiopia South Sudan Somalia and Yemen where a record 970 000 people are expected to face catastrophic hunger and are either starving or are forecast to starve or are at risk of worsening hunger to catastrophic conditions if no action is taken the UN agencies said This is 10 times more than six years ago when only two countries had such food insecure populations the FAO and WFP said in a new report Large scale and urgent humanitarian action is needed in all these at risk countries to save lives and livelihoods and prevent famine the UN agencies insisted Hard winter harvest According to the FAO and WFP acute food insecurity around the world will worsen from October to January In addition to Somalia they highlighted that the problem was also serious in the Horn of Africa where the longest drought in more than 40 years is forecast to continue pushing people to the brink of starvation Successive failed rains have destroyed people s crops and killed their livestock on which their survival depends said FAO Director General QU Dongyu warning that people in the poorest countries were at risk increased risk due to dire food security that was increasing rapidly and spreading all over the world FAO s QU calls for a massive increase in aid Vulnerable communities have yet to recover from the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic and are suffering from the domino effects of ongoing conflicts in terms of prices food and fertilizer supplies as well as the weather emergency the FAO chief continued He insisted that without a massively scaled up humanitarian response to sustain agriculture the situation is likely to worsen in many countries in the coming months Echoing that message WFP Executive Director David Beasley called for immediate action to prevent people from dying We urgently need to get help to those in grave danger of starvation in Somalia and other hunger hotspots around the world he said Perfect storm of trouble This is the third time in 10 years that Somalia has been threatened by a devastating famine Mr Beasley continued The 2011 famine was caused by two consecutive failed rainy seasons as well as the conflict Today we are facing a perfect storm a probable fifth consecutive failed rainy season that will cause a drought that will last well into 2023 In addition to skyrocketing food prices people most at risk of acute food insecurity also have very limited opportunities to earn a living due to the pandemic the WFP chief explained as relief teams prepare to famine in the Somali districts of Baidoa and Burhakaba in the Bay region come October Below the highest alert countries identified as Afghanistan Ethiopia Nigeria South Sudan Somalia and Yemen the joint FAO WFP report notes that the Democratic Republic of the Congo Haiti Kenya the Sahel Sudan and Syria are very worrying in addition to the newcomers Central African Republic and Pakistan Guatemala Honduras and Malawi have also been added to the list of countries with hunger hotspots joining Madagascar Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe Barriers to aid Humanitarian assistance is crucial to saving lives and preventing hunger death and the complete collapse of livelihoods the FAO and WFP insist while highlighting chronic access problems caused by insecurity administrative and bureaucratic impediments movement restrictions and physical barriers in 11 of the 19 hotspot countries This includes the six countries where populations face or are projected to face famine or are at risk of deterioration toward catastrophic conditions they said
Famine looms in Somalia, but many ‘hunger hotspots’ are in deep trouble

1 In Somalia, “hundreds of thousands are already facing hunger today and staggering levels of malnutrition are expected among children under the age of five,” warned the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Program for Food (WFP).

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2 “Large-scale deaths from starvation” are increasingly likely in the East African nation, UN agencies continued, noting that unless “adequate” aid arrives, analysts expect by December, “up to four children or two adults for every 10,000 people, will die every day.”

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3 Complex Roots In addition to the emergency already unfolding in Somalia, UN agencies pinpointed 18 more deeply related “hunger hotspots” whose problems have been created by conflict, drought, economic uncertainty, the COVID and Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine.

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4 Aid workers are particularly concerned about Afghanistan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen, where a record 970,000 people are expected to “face catastrophic hunger and are either starving or are forecast to starve or are at risk of worsening hunger.”

5 to catastrophic conditions, if no action is taken.

6 ”, the UN agencies said.

7 This is 10 times more than six years ago, when only two countries had such food-insecure populations, the FAO and WFP said in a new report.

8 Large-scale and urgent humanitarian action is needed in all these at-risk countries “to save lives and livelihoods” and prevent famine, the UN agencies insisted.

9 Hard winter harvest According to the FAO and WFP, acute food insecurity around the world will worsen from October to January.

10 In addition to Somalia, they highlighted that the problem was also serious in the Horn of Africa, where the longest drought in more than 40 years is forecast to continue, pushing people “to the brink of starvation”.

11 Successive failed rains have destroyed people’s crops and killed their livestock “on which their survival depends”, said FAO Director-General QU Dongyu, warning that “people in the poorest countries” were at risk.

12 increased risk due to dire food security that was “increasing rapidly.”

13 and spreading all over the world.

14 FAO’s QU calls for a massive increase in aid Vulnerable communities “have yet to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and are suffering from the domino effects of ongoing conflicts, in terms of prices, food and fertilizer supplies as well as the weather.

15 emergency,” the FAO chief continued.

16 He insisted that “without a massively scaled-up humanitarian response” to sustain agriculture, “the situation is likely to worsen in many countries in the coming months.”

17 Echoing that message, WFP Executive Director David Beasley called for immediate action to prevent people from dying.

18 “We urgently need to get help to those in grave danger of starvation in Somalia and other hunger hotspots around the world,” he said.

19 Perfect storm of trouble “This is the third time in 10 years that Somalia has been threatened by a devastating famine,” Mr Beasley continued.

20 “The 2011 famine was caused by two consecutive failed rainy seasons, as well as the conflict.

21 Today we are facing a perfect storm: a probable fifth consecutive failed rainy season that will cause a drought that will last well into 2023.” In addition to skyrocketing food prices, people most at risk of acute food insecurity also have “very limited opportunities” to earn a living due to the pandemic, the WFP chief explained, as relief teams prepare to famine in the Somali districts of Baidoa and Burhakaba.

22 in the Bay region, come October.

23 Below the “highest alert” countries, identified as Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen, the joint FAO-WFP report notes that the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Kenya, the Sahel, Sudan and Syria are “very worrying”, in addition to the newcomers Central African Republic and Pakistan.

24 Guatemala, Honduras and Malawi have also been added to the list of countries with hunger hotspots, joining Madagascar, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.

25 Barriers to aid Humanitarian assistance is crucial to saving lives and preventing hunger, death and the complete collapse of livelihoods, the FAO and WFP insist, while highlighting chronic access problems caused by “ insecurity, administrative and bureaucratic impediments, movement restrictions and physical barriers” in 11 of the 19 hotspot countries.

26 This includes “the six countries where populations face or are projected to face famine…or are at risk of deterioration toward catastrophic conditions,” they said.

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