1.2m Nigerians face acute famine, South Sudan, Yemen also affected.
United Nations agencies have predicted a grim picture of possible starvation of over 1.2 millions Nigerians in the Northern part of the country by August, 2021.
Two United Nations agencies also warned that millions of people in South Sudan and Yemen, also stood the risk of famine in the coming months.
“Urgent and targeted humanitarian action is needed to prevent hunger or death” in these areas, the agencies said in a joint report.
The three countries were among 20 “hunger hotspots” identified by the World Food Programme (WFP) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) where existing acute food insecurity risks deteriorating further by July.
A specific sub-group — Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Honduras, Nigeria, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen and Zimbabwe, are particularly at risk.
Parts of their populations are already experiencing “extreme depletion of livelihoods, insufficient food consumption and high acute malnutrition”, the joint report warned.
“In such fragile contexts, any further shocks could push a significant number of people over the brink and into destitution and even starvation”, it said.
In parts of Jonglei state in South Sudan, the UN agencies said famine was already occurring, and “urgent, at-scale action is now needed to stop likely widespread starvation and death”.
Overall in South Sudan, some 7.2 million people are expected to be in food crisis — with high malnutrition or just marginally meeting minimal food needs — from April to July.
Some 2.4 million people are classified as in an “emergency” situation, with 108,000 people in the agencies’ “catastrophe/famine” grouping.
Urgent action is also required to prevent further destitution in parts of Yemen, the report said, with the number of people in or nearly in famine estimated to triple from 16,000 last October-December to more than 47,000 this June.
Those facing acute food insecurity in Yemen will rise by three million, it said, to 16.2 million people, with five million in an emergency situation.
There was some improvement, last November, the UN agencies classed Burkina Faso as a fourth country at risk of famine alongside South Sudan, Yemen and northern Nigeria.
But the alert in Burkina Faso had slightly lowered for the coming months, after a good harvest and improved delivery of food assistance to remote and inaccessible areas.
Continued conflict in the zone, however, means the situation “remains very concerning.”
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