Some 258 million people around the world suffer from acute food insecurity and therefore live on the edge due to lack of food, according to the annual report prepared by the UN and which anticipates a 2023 in which the situation will continue to worsen due to conflicts. , weather disasters and economic problems.
The Global Report on Food Crises accumulates four consecutive years of increases and reaches in 2022 the worst data since it began to be carried out seven years agoalthough for the latest edition the number of countries and territories analyzed has been increased, from 53 to 58. The UN estimates that 22.7 percent of the world population suffers the worst face of hunger.
The situation is especially dramatic in Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Yemen, since more than 40 percent of the world population with acute food insecurity is concentrated in these countries; the third step within the five that analysts take into account, only below emergency and famine.
In fact, experts have catastrophic dietary levels detected in seven countries sometime in 2022. The Most of the cases correspond to Somalia, although the report also includes dramatic scenarios in Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, South Sudan, Yemen and Haiti, in the latter country, for the first time in history.
Hunger also represents a special threat to vulnerable groups, such as children: More than 35 children under five years of age have serious deficiencies, especially dramatic for 9.2 million children whose lives are directly in danger due to not ingesting the necessary nutrients in a key phase for their physical and intellectual development.
The report, prepared by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), among other agencies, situates for the first time the economic problems as the main cause in some of the main food criseslargely due to price increases or cuts in supply chains derived in turn from the war in Ukraine.
Specifically, the economy is the main trigger for acute food insecurity in 27 countries, which results in 83.9 million people -in 2021 the figure was around 30.2 million–, while the contexts of conflict or insecurity are at the forefront in 19 countries where there are 117 million people in serious need.
He climate factor has been key in 12 countriesaccording to the report, which accounts for 56.8 million cases in these scenarios, more than double that in 2021. The drought in the Horn of Africa, the storms in the southern part of this continent or the floods in Pakistan are listed in this category.
HUNGER AS “FAILURE”
The UN Secretary General, António Guterres, considers these figures “inconceivable”, in which he sees a sample of the “failure of humanity” to meet the Sustainable Development Goals, which precisely include achieving zero hunger as a key goal. The United Nations calls for addressing the underlying causes of hunger and coordinated efforts within the international community, with humanitarian assistance that is also more effective and adapted to needs.
Guterres has called for “fundamental, systemic change”, to take steps towards “stronger food systems” and “massive investments in food security”. The world must aspire to guarantee food for the entire population, “no matter where they live”, he has warned.
Not in vain, the prospects for 2023 are not particularly encouraginggiven the persistence of some of the main conflicts, the economic problems that are still dragging on even from the worst phase of the COVID-19 pandemic and the foreseeable chain of extreme weather and natural disasters, as the report anticipates.
Only the projections made from 38 of the 58 countries anticipate that up to 153 million people suffer severe deprivation and some 310,000 will be in a situation of ‘catastrophe’, mainly in Somalia but also in Burkina Faso, Haiti, Mali, Nigeria and South Sudan.
(with information from EP)
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