The United Nations warns that the number of hungry people in 23 hotspots around the world is expected to rise

United Nations (Associated Press)-Two UN agencies have warned that in the next three months, the number of hungry people in 23 hotspots around the world is expected to rise, including Ethiopia’s troubled Tigray region, southern Madagascar, Yemen, South Sudan and The “catastrophic” situation in northern Nigeria had the highest alert Friday.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Food Program stated in a new report on “Hunger Hotspots” from August to November that “severe food insecurity may worsen.”

They put Ethiopia at the top of the list, saying that if humanitarian assistance is not provided quickly, the number of people facing hunger and death is expected to rise to 401,000-the highest number since the 2011 famine in Somalia.

Southern Madagascar has suffered the worst drought in the past 40 years, pests affecting major crops, and rising food prices-14,000 people are expected to fall into a “catastrophic” severe food insecurity marked by hunger and death by September. Two The agency said that by the end of this year, this number is expected to double, and 28,000 people need urgent help.

In a report in May, 16 organizations, including FAO and the World Food Programme, stated that at least 155 million people will face severe hunger in 2020, and 133,000 of them will need urgent food to prevent widespread death due to hunger , An increase of 20 million people over 2019.

In their report on Friday, the FAO and the World Food Programme said: “Acute hunger is increasing not only in scale but also in severity.” “In general, unless they receive immediate assistance to save lives and livelihoods, otherwise. More than 41 million people worldwide are now at risk of falling into a famine or similar famine.”

Two Rome-based agencies called for urgent humanitarian action to save lives in 23 hotspots, and stated that it is especially important to provide help in five heavily guarded areas to prevent famine and death.

They said: “These deteriorating trends are mainly driven by conflict dynamics and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.” “These include soaring food prices, restrictions on markets and movement restrictions on pastoralist activities, rising inflation, declining purchasing power, and early reconciliation. Prolonged crop off-season”.

FAO and the World Food Program said that South Sudan, Yemen and Nigeria are still at the highest alert level. Ethiopia has joined for the first time because of Tigray and southern Madagascar.

They said that in South Sudan, “famine is most likely to occur in parts of Pibor County between October 2020 and November 2020 and is expected to continue in the absence of continuous and timely humanitarian assistance. “, while the other two regions are still at risk of famine.

The United Nations agency said: “In Yemen, more people facing similar risks of famine may have been contained, but the benefits are still extremely fragile.” “In Nigeria, the population in conflict-affected areas in the northeast may face catastrophic levels of food insecurity. risk.”

According to the report, a large number of people in nine other countries are also facing “severe food insecurity”, coupled with the deteriorating driving factors of hunger-Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Colombia, Congo, Haiti, Honduras, Sudan And Syria.

It said that since these agencies’ reports in March, six countries have been added to the hotspot list—Chad, Colombia, North Korea, Myanmar, Kenya, and Nicaragua. It said that the other three countries that also face severe food insecurity are Somalia, Guatemala and Niger, while Venezuela is not included due to lack of recent data.

In Afghanistan, FAO and the World Food Programme stated that from June to November, 3.5 million people are expected to face the second highest level of food insecurity, characterized by severe malnutrition and death. They stated that the withdrawal of US and NATO forces as early as August may lead to escalation of violence, more displaced persons and difficulties in the distribution of humanitarian aid.

In the isolated North Korea, which has been severely sanctioned by the United Nations, these agencies stated that “people are increasingly concerned about the food security situation…due to the potential impact of access tensions and trade restrictions, this may lead to food shortages.” Although The data is “extremely limited”, but they said that recent data from the country’s central bureau and an FAO analysis “highlight the worrying shortage of grain”.

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