FAO, WFP call for urgent action to avert rising hunger

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Acute hunger is set to increase in more than 20 nations in the coming months without urgent and scaled-up assistance, warn the World Food Programme (WFP) and UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

According to the report titled ‘Hunger Hotspots’, Yemen, South Sudan and northern Nigeria top the list and face disastrous levels of acute hunger.

“The magnitude of suffering is alarming. It is incumbent upon all of us to act now and to act fast to save lives, safeguard livelihoods and prevent the worst situation. In many regions, the planting season has just started or is about to start. We must run against the clock and not let this opportunity to protect, stabilize and even possibly increase local food production slip away,” said FAO Director-General QU Dongyu.

The report recommends urgent short-term actions in each hunger hotspot to address existing and future requirements. These range from launching cash-for-work schemes, distributing drought-tolerant seeds, vaccinating livestock to rehabilitating water-harvesting structures, increasing food as well as nutrition assistance, and boosting income opportunities for vulnerable communities.