Nigeria, DRC, Ethiopia, others rated among 10 hungriest as countries face acute food insecurity

Nigeria, DRC, Ethiopia, others rated among 10 hungriest as countries face acute food insecurity

The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Myanmar, the Syrian Arab Republic, Sudan, Ukraine and Pakistan have been rated among the world’s 10 hungriest countries in a report by the United Nations.

The report, as seen by Integrity News, says more than 258 million people in 58 countries faced acute food insecurity last year because of conflict, climate change, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s war in Ukraine.

The Global Report on Food Crises, an alliance of humanitarian organizations founded by the U.N. and European Union, said people faced starvation and death in seven of those countries: Somalia, Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Haiti, Nigeria, South Sudan and Yemen.

According to the report, the number of people facing acute food insecurity and in need of urgent food aid has increased for the fourth consecutive year.

While the increase last year was due to more populations being studied, the report also discovered that the severity of the problem increased, “highlighting a concerning trend of deterioration.”

The situation remains worse in key conflict areas, notably in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with 26.4 million affected by high levels of acute food insecurity, South Sudan with 7.7 million, and Yemen with 17.4 million. The number of countries where conflict / insecurity was the main driver of acute food insecurity passed from 24 in 2021 to 19 in 2022.

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, in his reaction to the findings, described the report as a “stinging indictment of humanity’s failure” to implement U.N. goals to end world hunger.

Rein Paulsen, director of emergencies and resilience for the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, said the impact has been most acute on the poorest countries that are dependent on food imports. “Prices have increased (and) those countries have been adversely affected,” Paulsen said.

He called for a “paradigm shift” so that more funding is spent investing in agricultural interventions that anticipate food crises and aim to prevent them.

“The challenge that we have is the disequilibrium, the mismatch that exists between the amount of funding money that’s given, what that funding is spent on, and the types of interventions that are required to make a change,” he said.

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