Efforts to fight a global surge in acute food insecurity are being stymied in several countries by fighting and blockades that cut off life-saving aid to families on the brink of famine, warn the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP) in a new report issued on 30/7/21. Bureaucratic obstacles as well as a lack of funding also hamper the two UN agencies' efforts to provide emergency food assistance and enable farmers to plant at scale and at the right time. This is of grave concern as conflict, the economic repercussions of COVID-19 and the climate crisis are expected to drive higher levels of acute food insecurity in 23 hunger hotspots over the next four months, according to the report, as acute food insecurity continues to increase in scale and severity.
Humanitarian access isn't some abstract concept - it means authorities approving paperwork in time so that food can be moved swiftly, it means checkpoints allow trucks to pass and reach their destination, it means humanitarian responders are not targeted, so they are able to carry out their life- and livelihood-saving work," noted Beasley.
- Communities cut off from aid - The report highlights that conflict, climate extremes and economic shocks - often related to the economic fallout of COVID-19 - will likely remain primary drivers of acute food insecurity for the August-November 2021 period
- Scale and severity of acute food insecurity deepens - Ethiopia and Madagascar are the world's newest "highest alert" hunger hotspots according to the report.