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  • Two-thirds of the countries in Africa faced crisis-like conditions such as acute food insecurity or even worse conditions caused by climate change.

    Two-thirds of the countries in Africa faced crisis-like conditions such as acute food insecurity or even worse conditions caused by climate change. | Photo: United Nations

Published 22 March 2018

The U.N. report predicts with the ongoing conflicts in the regions, especially, in Yemen, the country will continue to suffer from the biggest food crisis worldwide. 

In 2017, 127 million people's lives were endangered as they suffered famine, compared to 108 million in 2016, according to a 2018 U.N. report, called "Global Report on Food Crises*" 

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The report attributed the increase in numbers to the accumulated, aggravated conflicts in countries like Myanmar, Nigeria, Yemen and South Sudan, in addition to the drought which ravaged several African nations.

The report has predicted that with the ongoing conflicts in the regions, especially, in Yemen, the country will continue to suffer from the biggest food crisis worldwide, further warning, that in 2018, "dry weather conditions are likely to aggravate food insecurity in some countries. The Horn of Africa pastoral areas in Somalia, south-eastern Ethiopia and eastern Kenya are expected to receive below-average rainfall during the March-May rainy season."  

The 'Global Report on the Food Crisis' which based its assessment on three key drivers, conflict, displacement, and climate shocks, behind the increased food insecurity around the world, is an annual intergovernmental report which compiles its research from the United Nations agencies, the European Union and food policy groups, to measure the impact of hunger and conflict on populations. 

It measures "acute food insecurity", that is, a hunger so severe that it poses an immediate danger to life and the way of subsistence. 

In a European Commission press statement, Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth, and Sport, responsible for the Joint Research Centre, said: "Food crises remain one of the most pressing catastrophes worldwide.

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In Africa alone, over a hundred million people are facing food insecurity with some on the brink of famine. Unfortunately, there is no simple solution. The scientific rigor applied by the Joint Research Centre in compiling the annual report on food crises will help us diagnose the problems correctly and propose the best policies."   

The report said that in 2017 two-thirds of the countries in Africa, nearly 32 million people, faced crisis-like conditions such as acute food insecurity or even worse conditions caused by climate change. Over 3 million food-insecure people were in five Latin American and the Caribbean countries, and three million of the people impacted by the extreme food-related crisis were in three South Asian countries. 

"Food security is also of concern in Eritrea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Venezuela, but no estimate of the number of food-insecure people in these countries could be made because of a lack of data," the report added. 

It also shed light on the acute child nutrition plaguing several parts of Africa in areas affected by conflict such as north Darfur in Sudan with 28 percent of children being impacted, South Sudan, with 23 percent, the Lac region of Chad with 18 percent and northern Nigeria with anywhere between 10-16 percent. 

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