According to the new edition of FAO’s Crop Prospects and Food Situation report ,Some 37 countries, 29 of which are in Africa, require external assistance for food.
Conflicts in countries like northern Nigeria, South Sudan, Yemen, Afghanistan, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Syria have been on the receiving end of severe food insecurity.
Adverse weather conditions are taking toll on farm food outputs in some regions, notably due to drought in East Africa and floods in parts of Asia.
The 37 countries currently in need of external food assistance are Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Guinea.
Others are: Haiti, Iraq, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zimbabwe.
The breakdown of the needs of each country are as follows: 7.7 million people are in need of food due to acute food insecurity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; 3 million people require urgent life-saving response and livelihood protection in South Sudan;
Furthermore, In Somalia, the risk of famine in several areas has been prevented due to the delivery of large-scale humanitarian assistance; In Yemen, 17 million people are believed to require urgent humanitarian assistance; in Afghanistan, 7.6 million people are suffering from chronic hunger; while 6.5 million people are hungry in Syria.
In East Africa, 8.5 million people are estimated to be food insecure in Ethiopia, especially in the Somali region; in Kenya, 2.6 million people are severely food insecure as a result of unfavourable rainy seasons affecting adversely crop and livestock production.
The report also flags concerns in Bangladesh, where three episodes of flash floods this year caused substantial damage to rice crop saying the country’s rice is expected to fall to a five year low.
Despite local negative trends, overall global food production is booming and production gains are being recorded in many Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries, where the aggregate cereal output had hitherto been forecast to grow by 2 percent.