World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) are out with a new report outlining countries that "are either already starving or on the brink of disaster."
WFP and FAO found 19 hunger hotspots worldwide, with most countries in Africa, the Middle East, and even some in Central America. They call for urgent humanitarian action between October 2022 and January 2023 to avoid "huge loss of life."
Afghanistan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria, Yemen, and Haiti are labeled "hotspots of highest concern," facing catastrophic hunger levels.
Chiara Pallanch, the Senior Analyst in the Analysis and Early Warning Unit at WFP, said the "world is facing a food crisis of unprecedented proportions, the largest in modern history. Millions are at risk of worsening hunger unless action is taken now."
"We have a choice: act now in the face of these unprecedented needs, to save lives and invest in solutions that secure stability and peace for all. Otherwise, we will see people around the world face rising food insecurity – and even famines – driving migration, unrest and conflict.
"There is now a very real risk that food and nutrition needs across the globe may soon outstrip WFP's or any organization's ability to respond," Pallanch said.
Meanwhile, in a separate report, the heads of global humanitarian and financial institutions warned:
The war in Ukraine continues to exacerbate the global food security and nutrition crisis, with high and volatile energy, food and fertilizer prices, restrictive trade policies, and supply chain disruptions.
Despite the reprieve in global food prices and the resumption of grain exports from the Black Sea, food remains beyond reach for many due to high prices and weather shocks. The number of people facing acute food insecurity worldwide is expected to continue to rise.
Fertilizer markets remain volatile, especially in Europe, where tight natural gas supplies and high prices have caused many producers of urea and ammonia to stop operations. This may reduce fertilizer application rates for the next crop season, prolonging and deepening the impact of the crisis.
None of this should come as a surprise to readers. As we recently pointed out, David Beasley, executive director at the UN World Food Programme, recently indicated the world's food security conditions are "worse" than what was observed during Arab Spring over a decade ago.
FAO's world food index still holds above levels that triggered social unrest across the Middle East and toppled governments in 2011, known as the "Arab Spring."
It looks like a global food crisis could rear its ugly head in 2023. We've pointed out "The Stage Is Being Set For A Massive Global Rice Shortage" and asked: "Major Food Crisis Coming In 2023?"
What's important to know is that countries most susceptible to food shortages risk a flare-up in social unrest. It's probably best if you avoid those regions in 2023.