JANUARY UPDATE to HUNGER HOTSPOTS ACROSS THE GLOBE

by WHES STAFF

ETHIOPIA
Conflict and Drought
The current food crisis will persist in northern Ethiopia, Across the country, over 1.2 million children under 5 years of age require treatment for severe acute malnutrition; In Tigray region, the conflict has impacted over 90 per cent of people. Limited staff movements, lack of access to cash, fuel and life-saving supplies have greatly hampered humanitarian operations; the prevalence of moderate acute malnutrition and severe acute malnutrition in children under 5 years of age is 18 and 2.4 per cent, respectively, exceeding global emergency global acute malnutrition (GAM) thresholds.

According to FEWSNET (https://fews.net), Ethiopia will be one of the world’s most severe food security emergencies in 2022 due to the combination of conflict and drought. Large-scale food and livelihood assistance will be needed throughout much of the country, coupled with unhindered humanitarian access in northern Ethiopia to prevent further loss of lives and livelihoods.

AFGHANISTAN
Economic collapse and drought

More than half the population, 24.4 million people, need humanitarian assistance, including 12.9 million children. Multiple disease outbreaks (measles, acute watery diarrhea, dengue, COVID-19) are ongoing. In 2022, 8.7 million people will be in emergency level food insecurity and 1 in 2 children under 5 years will be acutely malnourished. Currently, more than three million people are internally displaced, and Afghanistan has had more than 40% of crops lost as a result of drought.

YEMEN
Uptick in War and economic hardship
The protracted situation severely impacted the health and nutrition of children: nearly 400,000 children are severely malnourished, and 2.3 million children are acutely malnourished. The food crisis has been compounded by an increase in the price of food and other basics, which have risen 30 to 70 percent since the start of the conflict. A recent renewal of hostilities in which the Houthi faction has targeted the UAE with missiles has

A United Nations Development Program (UNDP) report (https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/11/1106362) published in November 2021, projected grim outcomes in the near future of the war continued; that 1.3 million people would die by 2030, with 70 percent of those deaths a result of indirect causes, such as economic collapse, malnutrition, and morbidity.

SOMALIA
Rains fail, drought intensifies
The key drivers of acute food insecurity in Somalia include the combined effects of poor and erratic rainfall distribution, flooding and conflict. Moreover, approximately 1.2 million children under the age of five are likely to be acutely malnourished, including nearly 213,400 who are likely to be severely malnourished.

BURKINA FASO
Coup d’etat exacerbates already poor conditions

Prior to the Coup this week that displaced the President of Burkina Faso with a Military Junta; poor food intake, high prevalence of childhood sickness (fever and diarrhea), poor hygiene conditions and low access to drinking water have been major reasons for high levels of acute malnutrition.

In total, it is estimated that 699,027 children aged 6-59 months will likely be acutely malnourished through 2022. Also 163,000 pregnant and lactating women are also projected to suffer from acute malnutrition through 2022.

The negative effects of the security crisis have led to massive population displacements in almost half of the country. The closure/dysfunction of health facilities in provinces with limited humanitarian access has reduced the population’s access to care. The impact of the health crisis related to the COVID-19 pandemic is also a major negative contributing factor to the nutritional situation of the most vulnerable, particularly women and children under five.

MADAGASCAR
Critical but improving
The latest Acute Malnutrition (AMN) analysis shows that around 309,000 children in Madagascar’s Grand South are likely to suffer from acute malnutrition through August 2022. This includes nearly 60,000 expected cases of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM). Although still critical this is a significant improvement in the nutritional situation, with several districts moving from IPC AMN Phase 4 (Critical) or 3 (Serious) to IPC AMN Phase 2 (Alert) between November and December 2021. This is mainly related to prevention actions, particularly the effects of humanitarian food assistance.

NIGERIA
Northeast Nigeria conflict becomes protracted.

According to the latest IPC Acute Malnutrition (AMN) analysis, high levels of acute malnutrition are prevalent in many areas between September and December 2021, with over 60% of areas analyzed being in IPC AMN Phase 3 (Serious) or 4 (Critical). Over 1.74 million children under the age of five are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition through August 2022. This includes nearly 614,000 children severely malnourished and over one million moderately malnourished. In addition, over 151,000 pregnant and lactating women will likely be acutely malnourished.

CHAD
Conflict and Poverty
In 2022, it is estimated that around 1.67 million children under the age of five will suffer from acute malnutrition, including around 335,000 severe cases in the areas analyzed.

This precarious nutritional situation is the result of a combination of several aggravating factors, such as poor food intake, poor infant and young child feeding practices, a high prevalence of childhood diseases, lack of access to healthcare, an increase in the frequency of measles outbreaks, low coverage of access to drinking water, and low coverage of nutritional and health interventions. Other contributing factors include ongoing conflict and insecurity, acute food insecurity in some provinces, and the consequences of climate change (flooding, drought, poor rainfall distribution).

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (DRC)
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is experiencing one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world. More than five million people have been displaced, including three million children. Most of these displaced families have sheltered in local communities that are only just managing to meet their own needs. Other displaced persons live in informal camps where living conditions are even harsher.

According to the latest IPC Acute Malnutrition analysis, nearly 900,000 children under five and more than 400,000 pregnant or lactating women are likely to be acutely malnourished through August 2022 in the 70 health zones analyzed out of a total of 519 health zones. These estimates include more than 200,000 severely malnourished children requiring urgent care.

This precarious nutritional situation is the result of a combination of several factors, mainly poor feeding practices, acute food insecurity, high prevalence of childhood illnesses (malaria and diarrhea) and outbreaks of measles and cholera, poor hygiene conditions (inaccessibility to adequate sanitation facilities), very low access to drinking water, and the consequences of the security situation – mainly massive population displacement.