This is a view of the most urgent hunger hotspots around the world. The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) used by the United Nations and International Aid Agencies consists of five levels of severity for food insecurity as follows:
1. Minimal – Acceptable
2. Stressed – Alert
3. Crisis – Serious
4. Emergency – Critical
5. Catastrophe – Famine
For the following countries, the operative factor was the prevalence (current rate among children) of Acute Malnutrition (also known as wasting) from 2021 assessments.
Fourteen (14) million people in Afghanistan are facing acute food insecurity, and an estimated 3.2 million children under the age of five expected to suffer from acute malnutrition by the end of the year. At least 1 million of these children are at risk of dying due to severe acute malnutrition without immediate treatment.
A November 2021 UN survey mission to Kandahar Province to assess the current capacity and needs found increases in number of cases of Severe Acute Malnutrition were also reported. (WFP)
This severe crisis results from the combined effects of civil war, limited humanitarian access, loss of harvest and livelihoods, and collapsed markets.
In May 2021, it was reported that 5.5 million people faced high levels of acute food insecurity and 3.1 million people were in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) while 2.1 million people were in an Emergency (IPC Phase 4).
A food security analysis update conducted in Tigray and the neighboring zones of Amhara and Afar concludes that over 350,000 people were in ‘catastrophe’, according to Integrated Phase Classification or IPC 5 (famine) levels between May and June 2021. Since November 2021, approximately 100,000 people have fled their homes in Tigray, including more than 48,000 who headed westwards and crossed the border into eastern Sudan. Thousands are at risk of hunger, and peace is vital to stop the situation in Tigray from worsening.
The food security situation in Yemen significantly deteriorated during 2020 and has reached crisis levels. Over 2.25 million children under five years old have suffered from acute malnutrition in 2021. The reasons include the ongoing civil conflict, very poor access to health services and poor sanitation in most areas.
The key drivers of acute food insecurity in Somalia include the combined effects of poor rainfall, as well as flooding and war. Almost 3.5 million people across Somalia faced food gaps or loss of livelihood assets indicative of Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through the end of the year. Moreover, it is estimated 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. Desert Locust will continue to pose a serious risk to both pasture availability and crop production across Somalia.
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
During a Food Insecurity analysis of Central African Republic conducted in September 2021, 67 of the country’s 71 sub-prefectures were assessed The Assessment projected that from the period of September 2021 to March 2022, nine sub-prefectures are to be classified in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and 59 in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). Of the 4.9 million people living in these sub-prefectures, 2.1 million (43%) will experience high levels of acute food insecurity through March 2022, including around 620,000 people in Emergency levels (IPC Phase 4).
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 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 assessed out of a total of 519 health zones. These estimates include more than 200,000 severely malnourished children requiring urgent care.
An estimated 653,000 children and 96,500 pregnant and lactating women require treatment for acute malnutrition. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic that is affecting all counties in the country, the caseload among children aged 6 to 59 months requires urgent attention. The nutrition situation has remained similar across arid counties compared to the August 2020 analysis.
An analysis of Acute Malnutrition in 10 municipalities in Southern Angola has revealed that around 114,000 children under the age of five are suffering or are likely to suffer from acute malnutrition in the next 12 months and therefore require treatment
Over 500,000 children under the age of five are expected to be acutely malnourished through April 2022, of which over 110,000 are likely severely malnourished and require urgent life-saving treatment. Food insecurity is a major contributing factor to the nutrition situation, followed by poor access to sanitation facilities and improved drinking water sources due to drought.
Conditions are likely to continue deteriorating in the coming months. Nearly 1.6 million people—approximately 60 percent of southern Madagascar’s population—will likely require humanitarian assistance from June 2021 to May 2022.
Over 500,000 children under the age of five are expected to be acutely malnourished through April 2022, of which over 110,000 are likely to be severely malnourished and require urgent life-saving treatment. Food insecurity is a major contributing factor to the nutrition situation, followed by poor access to sanitation facilities and improved drinking water sources due to drought.