Conflicts and climate-change behind acute hunger in Africa in 2018 – UN

More than 113 million people across 53 countries experienced “acute hunger” last year because of wars and climate disasters
A picture taken on July 3, 2018, shows women collecting sacks of maize and sorghum dropped from air by a World Food Programme (WFP) plane in Jeich village in Ayod County, northern South Sudan. – The small village in the bush surrounded by swamps and the ongoing conflicts is isolated by cutting off the road due to the floodwater during the rainy season. The air food dropping is the only option to deliver the aid for the residents mostly fled from conflict areas. (Photo by PATRICK MEINHARDT / AFP)

About 72 million people in Africa suffered acute hunger in 2018, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has said in its 2019 global report on food crises.

FAO’s emergencies director Dominique Bourgeon in a media chat on Tuesday also said more than 113 million people across 53 countries experienced “acute hunger” last year because of wars and climate disasters, with Africa the worst-hit region.

Yemen, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan and Syria were among the eight nations accounting for two-thirds of the total number of people worldwide exposed to the risk of famine, the FAO said

Launched three years ago, the annual study takes stock of the countries facing the greatest difficulties on the planet. Conflict and insecurity remained key factors, along with economic turbulence and climate-related shocks like drought and floods, the report found.

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In countries on the verge of famine, “up to 80 percent of the population depend on agriculture. They need both emergency humanitarian aid for food and measures to help boost agriculture,” Bourgeon said.

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