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World hunger problem means some nations risk famine, UN says

World hunger problem means some nations risk famine, UN says

Food insecurity is rising globally

The world’s hunger problem is worsening and some nations in Africa and the Middle East could soon slip into famine as conflict, economic hardship, weather extremes and the Covid-19 crisis limit access to food.

That’s the warning from the United Nations (UN), which said areas of Burkina Faso, northeastern Nigeria, South Sudan and Yemen face famine if conflict escalates and humanitarian access is further cut in the coming months.

Food insecurity is rising globally and another 16 countries are at high risk of more acute hunger, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme said.

“This report is a clear call to urgent action,” Dominique Burgeon, the FAO’s director of emergencies and resilience, said in a statement. “We are deeply concerned about the combined impact of several crises which are eroding people’s ability to produce and access food, leaving them more and more at risk of the most extreme hunger.”

Parts of the population in the four hot spots are already experiencing a critical hunger situation because of the “toxic combination” of problems, with some people partially or completely being cut off from humanitarian assistance, according to the agencies.

Overall, in the next three to six months, some 20 areas around the world are likely to face potential spikes in high acute food insecurity, and require urgent attention, the agencies said.

Food prices and weather conditions will also determine how the situation evolves in the highest risk countries, they said.

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