Nearly 1 million people facing starvation in 'hunger hotspots'
Trends are expected to increase 'as well as risks of civil unrest driven by socio-economic grievances'
Nearly one million people in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen are starving or will face starvation this year as the global food crisis worsens, United Nations agencies warned Wednesday.
Local conflict and weather extremes remain the primary drivers of acute hunger, aggravated this year by economic instability linked to the ripple effects of Covid and Russia’s war in Ukraine.
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"Acute food insecurity is rising fast and spreading across the world. Without a massively scaled-up humanitarian response, the situation will likely worsen in the coming months," said the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.
According to the agency’s quarterly ‘Hunger Hotspots’ report, co-authored by the World Food Program, high prices for food, fuel, and fertilizer are expected to increase in the coming months, “as well as risks of civil unrest driven by increasing socio-economic grievances.”
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden announced another $2.9 billion for a fund aimed at helping to resolve global food insecurity.
Biden is expected to make the announcement in his speech to the UN General Assembly, the White House said, noting that it “builds on the $6.9 billion in US government assistance to support global food insecurity already committed.”
Washington said food supplies are being dangerously disrupted by “the compounding impacts of [Covid], the deepening climate crisis, rising energy and fertilizer costs, and protected conflicts – including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”
In particular, long-term drought has left parts of Somalia at risk of famine, the White House added.
"This new announcement of $2.9 billion will save lives through emergency interventions and invest in medium to long term food security assistance in order to protect the world's most vulnerable populations from the escalating global food security crisis."