Story at a glance
- The WFP says 41 million people in 43 countries are facing the risk of famine.
- That figure has risen from 27 million in 2019, according to the WFP.
- The organization said 584,000 people in Ethiopia, Madagascar, South Sudan and Yemen are already experiencing famine-like conditions.
The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) on Tuesday warned that tens of millions of people around the globe are facing the threat of famine and say that $6 billion in funding is needed to reach those at risk.
The organization said 584,000 people in Ethiopia, Madagascar, South Sudan and Yemen are already experiencing famine-like conditions, and estimates show 41 million people are “teetering on the very edge” of famine in 43 countries.
“I am heartbroken at what we’re facing in 2021. We now have four countries where famine-like conditions are present,” WFP Executive Director David Beasley said in a statement.
“Meanwhile 41 million people are literally knocking on famine’s door. If you look at the numbers, it’s just tragic - these are real people with real names. I am extremely concerned,” he said.
That figure has risen from 27 million in 2019, according to the WFP.
While conflict, climate change and other economic factors have driven food insecurity, the WFP says the increase in hunger is being compounded by skyrocketing food prices.
According to the WFP, corn prices have increased by almost 90 percent year-on-year and prices of wheat are up nearly 30 percent.
Currency depreciation in countries like Nigeria, Lebanon, Sudan, Venezuela and Zimbabwe is also driving food prices higher.
“The price tag to reach them is about $6 billion. We need funding and we need it now,” Beasley said.
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