Nigeria is one of the countries that are most at risk of sliding further into hunger crisis this year without a rapid response and greater investment, according to a news report by the United Nations World Food Programme.
Others are Zimbabwe, South Sudan, Haiti, Central Sahel (Mali, Burkina and Western Niger), Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Iraq, Southern Africa, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Libya, Bolivia and Ethiopia.
“A new decade may have dawned but there is little cause for fresh optimism in countries and regions where conflict, political instability and climate disasters are threatening the food security of millions of people,” the UN agency said in the report, titled ‘WFP Global Hotspots 2020: Potential flashpoints to look at for in New Year’.
WFP said an upsurge in violence in the North-East of Nigeria had resulted in a fresh wave of displacement, cutting off access to farming lands.
It said, “Nearly three million people are struggling to meet their food needs in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states. That could rise to more than 3.8 million people in the June-August lean season. Close to 2.1 million people have been forced to leave their homes.”
According to the report, the WFP provides life-saving food and nutrition products to internally displaced people, returnees, young children and pregnant or breastfeeding women.
“WFP has conducted rapid assessments of the current situation, to inform its ongoing response,” it added.
WFP is the food-assistance branch of the UN and the world’s largest humanitarian organisation addressing and promoting food security.
The report said, “While WFP continues to provide extensive assistance to high-profile emergencies such as Yemen and Syria, Global Hotspots 2020 highlights the fastest-deteriorating emergencies requiring the world’s urgent attention.”
“Sub-Saharan Africa dominates WFP’s analysis, with Zimbabwe, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central Sahel region all needing immediate attention, given the urgent needs of children, women and men.”
Elsewhere, Global Hotspots 2020 reports how a rapidly evolving political and social crisis in Haiti is raising alarm, while Afghanistan continues to face insecurity combined with drought, leaving millions of people uncertain of where their next meal will come from.