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Hunger Hotspots FAO-WFP Early Warnings on Acute Food Insecurity

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) warn that acute food insecurity is likely to deteriorate further in 20 countries or situation (including one region) - called hunger hotspots – during the outlook period from February to May 2022. Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Sudan and Yemen remain at the highest alert level from the previous edition of this report. In their last available assessments, these countries all had parts of populations identified or projected to experience starvation and death (Catastrophe, Integrated Food Security Phase Classification [IPC] Phase 5), requiring the most urgent attention. The lack of updated assessment data for Ethiopia is a major concern. Acute food insecurity levels are likely to have increased and could rise further beyond the Emergency and Catastrophic levels (IPC Phase 4 and 5) already identified in the last report. These included a projection of famine-like conditions for 401 000 people for July to September 2021 in the Tigray region. A risk that famine would occur in Tigray region by end of 2021 was identified by the IPC Famine Review Committee, conditional on the conflict worsening, humanitarian access shrinking and private sector and supply lines becoming non-functional. While an updated assessment of the situation is not available, according to the Famine Review Committee's worst case scenario, there would be a high Risk of Famine, if conflict was to resume in Tigray. In Nigeria, while some populations in conflict-affected areas in the northeast are now projected to slide into catastrophic food insecurity at the peak of the lean season, from June 2022 onwards, it cannot be excluded that some may start to experience this even earlier, in the next months, and that the magnitude may be higher than what projections anticipate.