The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) has warned that the number of people on the brink of famine has risen from 34 million to 41 million since the beginning of the year.
According to WFP’s latest Global Operational Response Plan released on Friday, famine – caused by conflict and the economic slowdown caused by climate shocks and COVID-19 – could soon become a reality for millions.
“Global hunger levels are rising as conflicts, climate shocks and the Covid-19 pandemic strike. And the slightest blow will famine millions of people,” WFP spokesman Tomson Phiri was quoted as saying by an event report.
“Without immediate emergency food aid, these people also run the risk of starvation, because even the slightest blow will put them in famine,” Mr. Firi insisted.
Thus, according to this UN body, about 584,000 people may face famine conditions this year in Ethiopia, Madagascar, South Sudan and Yemen.
Nigeria and Burkina Faso are also of particular concern as they have experienced pockets of population close to this “disaster” situation in recent months. This, commonly known as Phase 5, is the highest on the five-level scale of the Integrated Food Safety Classification Framework (IPC), the same source said.
In general, the United Nations agency has warned that the world is no longer moving towards zero hunger. Progress stalled and reversed. The WFP estimates that more than 270 million people will be food insecure or at high risk this year.
“The situation is not normal in 2021 and it is getting worse. We are extremely concerned about the most vulnerable people in the world, as food prices continue to rise around the world,” a WFP spokesperson elaborated.