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UN agencies warn millions are at risk of famine unless extends humanitarian help immediately   

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Two UN agencies warn  that over 41 million people worldwide are now at risk of falling into famine or famine-like conditions. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Program(WFP) said in a new report on 'Hunger Hotspots' between August and November that acute food insecurity is likely to further deteriorate. The reports stressed the need to extend humanitarian aid to the people who fell to famine.

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The reports find Ethiopia in first place  with the number of people facing starvation and death is expected to rise to 401,000 the highest number since the 2011 famine in Somalia, if humanitarian help is not extended. The agencies are recognised mainly in the Tigray region, southern Madagascar, Yemen, South Sudan and northern Nigeria.

Over all the agencies found Hunger is expected to rise in 23 global hotspots in the next three months. The two Rome-based agencies called for urgent humanitarian action to save lives in the 23 hotspots, saying help is especially critical in the five highest alert places to prevent famine and death.  

These deteriorating trends are mostly driven by conflict dynamics, as well as the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, food price spikes, rising inflation, decreased purchasing power  are causes, the agencies said.

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South Sudan, Yemen, Nigeria people are at the risk of facing famine-like conditions though can be contained in some parts. Some more countries have also been added to the hotspot list are –Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Colombia, Congo, Haiti, Honduras, Sudan and Syria, the report said. Chad, Colombia, North Korea, Myanmar, Kenya and Nicaragua, it said.

Three other countries also facing acute food insecurity are Somalia, Guatemala and Niger, while Venezuela wasn’t included due to lack of recent data, agency reports stated. War-like situations, confrontations, violence and  price rise, deficit of crops, malnutrition are some of the causes for famine, the UN agencies said in its reports.


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Krishna Kumar

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