The World Food Program warned on Monday that the number of people on the verge of starvation in 43 countries has reached 45 million as acute food insecurity increases worldwide.
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The jump from 42 million at the start of the year to 45 million people at risk of starvation was seen thanks to a food insecurity assessment that found another three million people now face starvation in Afghanistan, according to the Rome-based UN agency.
Tens of millions of people are on the edge of the abyss. “Conflict, climate change and COVID-19 have increased the number of people suffering from acute famine,” said WFP Executive Director David Beasley.
“The latest data shows that more than 45 million people are on the brink of starvation,” a WFP official said after a trip to Afghanistan, where the World Food Program is helping nearly 23 million people.
He added, “Fuel prices are rising, food prices are rising dramatically, fertilizers are more expensive, and all of this is fueling a new crisis like the one that is now plaguing Afghanistan, as well as long-term emergencies like Yemen and in Syria.”
The cost of preventing famine worldwide is $7 billion, up from $6.6 billion at the beginning of the year, but it must be taken into account that the mechanisms of traditional funding sources are overwhelmed.
Families experiencing acute food insecurity are forced to “make devastating choices,” marry underage children, take them out of school, or feed them locusts, leaves or cacti, according to the report.
Press reports from Afghanistan stated that “families were forced to sell their children in a desperate attempt to survive,” the UN agency warned.
Afghanistan’s multiple droughts coupled with economic collapse have taken a heavy toll on families, while 12.4 million people in Syria do not know how to get their next meal, more than at any time during this conflict that began ten years ago, according to the World Food Program. .
Severe cases of famine have been observed in Ethiopia, Haiti, Somalia, Angola, Kenya and Burundi, according to the World Food Programme.
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