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Famine knocking at the door of 41 million worldwide, WFP warns — Global Issues

Famine knocking at the door of 41 million worldwide, WFP warns — Global Issues

A recent analysis by the United Nations agency reveals that 41 million people in 43 countries “are on the verge of famine”, up from 27 million two years ago.

Famine knocking at the door

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“I am sorry for what we are facing in 2021. We now have four countries where conditions close to famine are present,” WFP chief David Beasley told his board on Monday, according to a report. Press release.

He described the situation as “just tragic” because “these are real people with real names”.

WFP said 584,000 people are already experiencing famine conditions in Ethiopia, Madagascar, South Sudan and Yemen.

Nigeria and Burkina Faso are also of particular concern as they have pockets where famine-like conditions are present.

“In Somalia in 2011, 260,000 people starved to death – and by the time the famine was declared – half of that number had already died,” Beasley recalled. “We cannot debate numbers to the death when people need our help now. ”

Conflict, climate change and currency depreciation

Hunger has increased due to conflict, climate change and economic shocks, WFP said. However, soaring staple food prices also worsened the situation, with the global cost of corn rising by almost 90% year-on-year, for example.

In many countries, currency depreciation is also a factor, the agency added. This has pushed prices even higher, fueling food insecurity in places like Lebanon, Nigeria, Sudan, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

WFP is mounting its largest operation ever this year, targeting 139 million people. With sufficient funding and access, the agency said it could provide them with life-saving food and nutrition assistance.

Mr Beasley stressed the urgent need for support.

“I want to emphasize how bad it is there. Today, 41 million people are literally knocking on the door of famine. The price to pay to reach them is around $ 6 billion. We need funding and we need it now, ”he said.

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