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Afghanistan enters list of global hunger hotspots that need humanitarian action

News Agencies | Updated on: 7 June 2022, 11:48 IST

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) are issuing an early warning alert for urgent humanitarian action in 20 hunger hotspots, including Afghanistan, where hunger is expected to worsen from June to September 2022.

This comes weeks after WFP had said that record levels of hunger persist in Afghanistan.

In Afghanistan, the economic crisis following the political transition coupled with the impact of below-average harvests is causing unprecedented levels of hunger across the country.

The UN agency earlier said almost half of Afghanistan's population is facing acute hunger and prolonged drought and a deep economic crisis that will threaten the livelihoods of millions of people across Afghanistan.

According to the May 2022 Hunger Hotspots report, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Sudan, and Yemen remain at 'highest alert' as hotspots with catastrophic conditions. Afghanistan and Somalia are new entries to this worrisome class since the previous hotspots report in January 2022.

These countries all have segments of the population facing IPC phase 5 'Catastrophe' - or at risk of deterioration towards catastrophic conditions, with a total of 750,000 people already facing starvation and death in Ethiopia, Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and Afghanistan.

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.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, the Sahel region, Sudan, and Syria remain 'countries of very high concern' with deteriorating critical conditions, as in the previous edition of this report - with Kenya a new entry to the list.

The report finds that - alongside conflict - climate shocks will continue to drive acute hunger in the outlook period from June to September 2022 and we have entered a 'new normal' where frequent and recurring droughts, flooding, hurricanes and cyclones decimate farming, drive displacement and push millions to the brink in countries across the world.

Sri Lanka, West African coastal countries, Ukraine and Zimbabwe have been added to the list of hotspot countries, joining Angola, Lebanon, Madagascar, and Mozambique which continue to be hunger hotspots.


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First published: 7 June 2022, 11:48 IST