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FAO and WFP report on 18 global hunger hot spots

Rome, Jun 5 (Prensa Latina) The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), together with the World Food Program (WFP), published a report on the 18 world hunger hot spots on Wednesday.

The report, by FAO’s press office, states that 17 countries are included in this year’s list, with the highest alert level in Palestine, particularly the Gaza Strip, as well as South Sudan, Mali, Sudan and Haiti, followed by Chad, Myanmar, Syria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Yemen.

The Central African Republic, Lebanon, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and Somalia are also considered to be in such a situation, joined as a single point by the regional group of four drought-hit African nations, including Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

FAO and WFP emphasized the urgent need for aid to prevent famine in Gaza and Sudan, and the further deterioration of the devastating hunger crises in Haiti, Mali and South Sudan.

As the main cause of hunger in all of these hot spots of greatest concern, the report considers the increase and escalation of armed conflicts as a consequence of which many communities are facing or are expected to face famine, with the risk of going into catastrophic conditions.

These factors also include economic crises, as well as extreme weather events, and in relation to the latter, the study warned about the persistent impact of El Niño and the threat of La Niña, weather phenomena that might increase catastrophes and further affect livelihoods.

When releasing the document, FAO Director-General QU Dongyu said, “The grim prospects highlighted in this report should serve as a wake-up call for all of us.”

Instead of responding to crises after they occur, there should be a shift to ‘more proactive anticipatory approaches,’ as well as ‘prevention and resilience building to help vulnerable communities cope with future crises,’ he emphasized.

In line with this approach, WFP Executive Director Cindy McCain noted that ‘once famine is declared, it is already too late: many people will have already died of hunger.’