Some 37 countries, 29 of which are in Africa, require external assistance for food, according to the new edition of FAO’s Crop Prospects and Food Situation report.
The 37 countries currently in need of external food assistance are Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Haiti, Iraq, Kenya, and Lesotho
Others are: Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zimbabwe.
Some 7.7 million people are estimated to be in acute food insecurity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The report finds similar effects of conflicts in northern Nigeria – where over 3 million people require urgent life-saving response and livelihood protection
And South Sudan, where, despite recent harvests, about 45 percent of the population (or 4.8 million) is food insecure and those in an emergency situation – defined as “IPC Phase 4” have doubled from a year ago.
In Somalia, the risk of famine in several areas has been prevented so far due essentially to the delivery of large-scale humanitarian assistance.
The hunger caseload has tripled during the past year and some 3.1 million people are now deemed to be severely food insecure.
In Yemen, 60 percent of the population (or 17 million) is believed to require urgent humanitarian assistance.
Chronic hunger also persists in war-torn countries such as Afghanistan – where there has been an increase in the number of people fleeing their home this year and 7.6 million people now face moderate or severe food insecurity – Iraq, where 3.2 million people are in need of food assistance, and Syria, where 6.5 million people are hungry.
Drought is the main problem in East Africa. Some 8.5 million people are estimated to be food insecure in Ethiopia, especially in the Somali region.
Consecutive unfavorable rainy seasons have curtailed crop and livestock production in Kenya, where about 2.6 million people are severely food insecure. Despite local negative trends, overall global food production is booming.