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WFP warns countdown to disaster as acute hunger hits new high

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WFP warns countdown to disaster as acute hunger hits new high

We need more funds to reach families around the world who have already exhausted their ability to cope with extreme hunger

ROME, Italy, November 8, 2021 / APO Group / –

The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) today warned that the number of people on the brink of famine (IPC4 / Emergency or worse) in 43 countries has risen to 45 million as hunger rises around the world. This number rose from 42 million at the start of the year and to 27 million in 2019.

“Tens of millions of people are looking into an abyss. We have conflict, climate change and COVID-19 that are increasing the number of people suffering from acute hunger, and the latest data shows that there are now more than 45 million people walking on the brink of famine ” , WFP Executive Director David Beasley said after a trip to Afghanistan, where WFP is stepping up support to help nearly 23 million people.

“Fuel costs are rising, food prices are skyrocketing, fertilizers are more expensive, and all of this is fueling new crises like the one currently unfolding in Afghanistan, as well as long-standing emergencies like Yemen and the United States. Syria, “he added.

WFP and humanitarian partners are stepping up efforts to help millions of people facing famine. However, the needs far exceed the resources available at a time when traditional sources of finance are overexploited. The cost of preventing famine worldwide is now US $ 7 billion, up from US $ 6.6 billion earlier this year.

“As the cost of humanitarian aid increases exponentially, we need more funds to reach families around the world who have already exhausted their ability to cope with extreme hunger,” he added. .

Families facing acute food insecurity are also forced to make devastating choices to cope with growing hunger. WFP’s vulnerability analysis in the 43 countries shows that families are forced to eat less or skip meals altogether, feed children rather than adults and, in some extreme cases, eat locusts, leaves wild or cacti to survive – as in Madagascar.

In other areas, families are forced to marry their children early or take them out of school, sell goods such as livestock or what little else they have left. Meanwhile, Afghan media reports that families are being forced to sell their children in a desperate attempt to survive.

Food prices hit a ten-year high this month, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations food price index. This not only puts food out of reach for millions of the world’s poorest people, it also increases the cost of purchasing food in global markets. Added to this are the high fuel prices which also increase transportation costs and put additional pressure on global supply chains – shipping a container cost $ 1,000 a year ago, but now costs $ 4,000 or more.

This year, WFP has already embarked on the largest operation in its history – targeting 139 million people in the 85 countries where it operates. This work covers both emergency food and nutrition needs, as well as work with partners to build resilience and increase self-reliance for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.

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