Acute Food Insecurity Threatens Yemen, Syria, Lebanon
By Staff, Agencies
A report issued by the World Food Program and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization identified the reasons why countries are at risk of famine by armed conflicts, epidemics, displacement, desertification, economic decline and the repercussions of Covid-19.
The joint report identified "20 hot spots" in the world at risk of serious food insecurity over the next five months.
Most of these countries are located in the African continent and South America, while in the Arab world, the report identified 5 countries from among these hotspots: Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, and Lebanon.
The two organizations called for swift and decisive action at the international level in order to save the lives and livelihoods of millions of people, and stressed the urgent need for targeted humanitarian action on a large scale to prevent hunger or death in the most vulnerable areas, especially in Yemen, South Sudan, Nigeria and Burkina Faso.
The joint report identified the main causes of food insecurity in Yemen with the continuing conflict, cuts in humanitarian aid funding and restrictions imposed on aid access, in addition to the economic crisis and the shortage of foreign exchange reserves. The deteriorating economic situation and the decrease in the volume of international humanitarian aid will lead to more levels of acute food insecurity in the coming months, which will affect between 3 million and 16.6 million Yemenis, or 54% of Yemenis.
It is expected that food prices will continue to rise as a result of the collapse of the Yemeni currency and the severe shortage of foreign exchange. The value of the food basket for Yemenis increased by 28% during the past year. The joint report predicted a reduction in humanitarian operations, a reduction in the size of food rations, and a continuing shortage of fuel, given “the alarming expectations of funding allocated for humanitarian aid in 2021.”