Southern Africa's hunger hotspots
Farmer's Weekly|October 08, 2021
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Food Programme’s Hunger Hotspots report highlights the countries most at risk of increased food insecurity from August to November 2021. In Southern African, these include Mozambique, Madagascar, Angola and the DRC.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and the World Food Programme (WFP) recently warned that acute food insecurity was likely to deteriorate further in 23 countries during the outlook period from August to November 2021. Ethiopia and Madagascar were the new highest-alert hotspots.

In Ethiopia, up to 401 000 people were projected to be in ‘Catastrophe’ (Phase 5 in the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification [IPC] system) between July and September 2021. This figure, the highest number since the 2011 famine in Somalia, was due to the impact of conflict in the Tigray region. The Famine Review Committee estimated a medium to high risk of famine in three out of four possible scenarios.

In Madagascar, a total of 28 000 people will also be at risk of famine by the end of 2021, due to the country’s worst drought in 40 years.

The report emphasises the alarming rate at which acute food insecurity is rising globally. In 2020, 155 million people were estimated to be in acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 or above) across 55 countries/territories, up by 20 million from 2019, and this negative trend continued well into 2021. Acute hunger is increasing not only in scale but also severity: more than 41 million people worldwide are now at risk of falling into famine or famine-like conditions unless they receive immediate life- and livelihood-saving assistance.

Conflict is expected to remain the primary driver of acute hunger, alongside economic shocks (including secondary impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic) and natural hazard risks. Higher international food prices risk further constraining vulnerable households’ access to food, as they influence domestic food prices. The ongoing increase of climate hazards and weather extremes, and their severity, are likely to continue during the outlook period, affecting livelihoods in several parts of the world.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

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