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June 15, 2024
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UN Warns of Worsening Hunger in Nigeria, 17 Other Countries

According to a data from the UN, acute food insecurity is projected to worsen in 18 hunger “hotspots,” including Nigeria.

The report emphasised the immediate need for assistance to prevent femine in Gaza and Sudan, as well as the worsening hunger crises in Haiti, Mali, and South Sudan.

It also warns about the continuous effects of El Niño and the impending risk of La Niña, which could lead to extreme climate events that disrupt both lives and livelihoods

It stated, “Since the previous edition of the Hunger Hotspots report (October 2023), the Central African Republic, Lebanon, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Zambia have joined Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Malawi, Somalia and Zimbabwe in the list of hunger hotspots, where acute food insecurity is likely to deteriorate further during the outlook period,” the report revealed.

The report also stated numerous hotspots were grappling with escalating hunger crises, emphasising the alarming compounding effect of simultaneous and overlapping shocks on acute food insecurity.

It pointed out that conflict, climate extremes, and economic shocks were persistently pushing susceptible households into food crises.

The report cautioned that 2023 could potentially be the first year since 2010 to see a decrease in humanitarian funding compared to the previous year, although it still represented the second highest level of funding ever for humanitarian assistance.

“The daunting prospects highlighted in this report should serve as a wake-up call to all of us. We need to spearhead the shift from responding to crises after they occur to more proactive anticipatory approaches, prevention and resilience building to help vulnerable communities cope with upcoming shocks.

“Acting ahead of crises can save lives, reduce food shortages and protect livelihoods at a much lower cost than a not timely humanitarian response,” FAO Director-General, QU Dongyu said.

On his part, the WFP Executive Director, Cindy McCain said, “Once a famine is declared, it is too late – many people will have already starved to death. In Somalia in 2011, half of a quarter of a million people who died of hunger perished before famine was officially declared.

“The world failed to heed the warnings at the time and the repercussions were catastrophic. We must learn the lesson and act now to stop these hotspots from igniting a firestorm of hunger.

“We have proven solutions to stop these crises in their tracks, but we need the resources and the political will to implement them at scale before more lives are lost.”

The report added that ongoing conflict in Palestine is expected to further exacerbate the already catastrophic levels of acute hunger.

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