Famine is on the rise in the Near East and North Africa with more than 52 million people undernourished, most of them in conflict zones, the UN food agency said on Wednesday.
“Conflicts and protracted crises have spread and worsened since 2011, threatening the region’s efforts” to eliminate hunger, said the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.
“Fifty-two million people in the region are suffering from chronic undernourishment” with two-thirds of them in conflict zones, the FAO said in a statement.
These included Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, whose ongoing four-year war has killed tens of thousands of people, including many civilians, according to humanitarian organizations.
The fighting in Yemen has triggered what the United Nations describes as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with 3.3 million people still displaced and 24.1 million in need of aid.
Conflicts in the Near East and North Africa also had “long-lasting impacts on the food and nutrition security” of surrounding countries, said Abdessalam Ould Ahmed, the FAO’s Cairo-based regional representative.
“The impact of conflict has been disrupting food and livestock production in some countries and consequently affecting the availability of food across the region,” he said.
Beyond conflicts, the FAO said rising hunger was also made worse in the region by rapid population growth, scarce and fragile natural resources and the growing threat of climate change.
In response to the crisis, the UN agency called for the sustainable transformation of agriculture.
The FAO urged countries to improve market access for farmers, promote investment and innovation in agriculture and the management of water resources.
Iranian economist warns of famine, rebellion as inflation rates riseAn Iranian economist, Hossein Raghfar, predicted that his country would face more famine and protests in the coming weeks.Raghfar warned of what he ... Economy
UN warns of worsening Yemen famine threat as Houthis loot resourcesThe UN Security Council warned on Friday during an emergency session on Yemen that the fight against famine is being lost in the war-ravaged country. ... Gulf
Saudi Arabia and UAE announce $200 mln in aid for YemenSaudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have announced funding in the amount of $200 million to the “Imdaad” initiative to support the ... Middle East
Migrant recalls ‘daily beatings, starvation and suffocation’ by Libyan forcesWhile he dreamed of having a decent life in Europe, Osama Murad traveled from Palestine to Libya, but he found himself in a “slave center” ... Features
Syria refugee children in Lebanon risk starvation, U.N. saysThere are around 200,000 Syrian children refugees in the neighboring country of Lebanon Middle East