UN: Over 34 Million People Worldwide ‘One Step Away From Starvation’

Agencies of the United Nations have warned that over 34 million people around the world are “one step away from starvation” as acute hunger is likely to soar in over 20 countries in the coming months.

According to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP), 20 countries face “a likelihood of further deterioration in acute food insecurity,” with Yemen, South Sudan, and northern Nigeria topping the list of a specific group of “hunger hotspots.”

The report published last March 23 noted that families in the Jonglei state in South Sudan, as well as certain areas in Yemen, are already at risk of famine-like conditions.

Although most of the affected countries are in Africa, FAO and WFP warned that acute hunger is likely to sharply increase in most world regions.

The report revealed that conflict and the pandemic were the key drives of acute food insecurity. Other factors include extreme climate conditions, desert locust outbreaks, and increase in constrained access in some countries.

“We are seeing a catastrophe unfold before our very eyes. Famine – driven by conflict, and fueled by climate shocks and the COVID-19 hunger pandemic – is knocking on the door for millions of families,” WFP Executive Director David Beasley said in a statement.

The report recommended “critical short-term actions” to address the issue, including increasing food and nutrition assistance, rehabilitating water-harvesting structures, and increasing income opportunities for vulnerable communities.

“We urgently need three things to stop millions from dying of starvation: the fighting has to stop, we must be allowed access to vulnerable communities to provide life-saving help, and above all we need donors to step up with the US$ 5.5 billion we are asking for this year,” Beasley stated.

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