ROME Increasing hunger needs in sub-Saharan Africa dominates a global analysis of the World Food Program (WFP) on critical hunger points in the first half of 2020, where millions of people will require food assistance in Zimbabwe, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central Sahel region. The magnitude and complexity of the challenges in Africa and other regions will push the resources and capacity of WFP and other agencies to the limit. Increasing the humanitarian response will again require the generous support of donor governments to finance the assistance needed to save lives and support development.
“WFP is fighting large and complex humanitarian battles on several fronts in early 2020,” said David Beasley, WFP Executive Director. “In some countries, we see that conflict and instability are combined with extreme climatic phenomena that force people to leave their homes, lands and workplaces. In others, climate shocks and economic collapse occur simultaneously, leaving millions of people on the edge of destitution and hunger.
The WFP Report on Critical Points in 2020It highlights the serious challenges in sub-Saharan Africa for the next six months, highlighting Zimbabwe, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central Sahel region in regard to the needs of children, women and men who are hungry. The WFP report predicts that with the economic implosion the situation in Zimbabwe will be increasingly precarious as the country enters the peak of its “famine season”, just when food is scarcer and the number of hungry people It has reached its highest point in a decade. WFP plans to provide assistance to more than 4 million people in Zimbabwe, with growing concern that the impact of a regional drought could drag more countries in the first months of the year.
“Last year WFP was asked to provide urgent large-scale assistance to Yemen, Mozambique after Cyclone Idai, Burkina Faso and many other crises to prevent famine,” said Margot Van Der Velden, WFP Emergency Director, “but the world is a relentless place and as we turn the page to 2020, WFP faces new and monumental humanitarian challenges that we must urgently address. “
The rapid evolution of the crisis in Haiti is also a matter of great concern at this end of the year because the increase in disturbances is paralyzing the country. The contraction in the economy and rising food prices (+ 40% between October 2018 and October 2019) have left commodity prices out of the reach of many people. According to a recent CPI survey on food insecurity, the situation has left 3.7 million people, or one third of the population, in need of assistance.
In Asia, Afghanistan faces insecurity combined with drought, leaving more than 11 million people, more than a third of the country’s population, with severe food insecurity.
In the Middle East, WFP can look back on its success in Yemen by expanding its operation by 50%, which went from providing food assistance to 8 million people per month at the beginning of 2018 to 12 million at the end of 2019. Looking ahead in 2020, WFP remains alert to the growing food needs in Iraq and Lebanon, where riots and the macroeconomic crisis are increasing food insecurity.
WFP estimates that it will require more than $ 10 billion to fully fund all its operations in more than 80 countries around the world in 2020.
“Every year at WFP we plan ahead for the next 12 months and ask for support from the generous governments, private sector institutions and members of the public to help us achieve our humanitarian and development goals,” said Beasley. “As an agency that depends entirely on voluntary donations, we have a responsibility to demonstrate that WFP can continue to be the most efficient and effective global organization that provides the kind of food assistance that saves lives and changes lives around the world.”
Source: World Food Program