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Hunger Hotspots: FAO-WFP Early Warnings on Acute Food Insecurity, February to May 2022 Outlook.

For the outlook period from February to May 2022, FAO and WFP are issuing an early warning for urgent humanitarian action in 20 "hunger hotspots" where parts of the population are likely to face a significant deterioration of acute food insecurity in the coming months that will put their lives and livelihoods at risk. Identified through forward-looking analysis, these hotspots have potential for acute food insecurity to rise in the outlook period, under the effects of often multiple drivers, interlinked or mutually reinforcing. These fall under the categories of organized violence and conflict, economic shocks including secondary impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, weather extremes and climate variability, animal and plant pests and diseases. Drivers often co-exist and reinforce one another. In the majority of the hunger hotspots across regions, organized violence or conflict is the primary drivers, actual or potential, for a likely deterioration of food insecurity levels. This reflects a global trend where conflict continues to affect the largest share of people facing acute food insecurity. In 2020, around 65 percent of acutely food-insecure people were living in countries with conflict as the main driver, and key trends indicate that conflict levels and violence against civilians continued to increase in 2021. Almost two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, global and national economic disruptions caused by several contagion waves have escalated and, as only 8.5 percent of the people in low-income countries have been vaccinated as of January 2022, new variants bring new uncertainties in these countries and might negatively affect their economies. Major economic concerns are high food prices and low household purchasing power, which are further increasing acute food insecurity. Weather extremes such as heavy rains, tropical storms, hurricanes, flooding, drought and climate variability remain significant drivers, in some countries and regions. The ongoing La Niña conditions additionally lead to an elevated risk of a two-year sequence of dry conditions, particularly in East Africa and Central Asia.