Around 258 million need emergency food aid: UN-backed report

The number of people who need urgent food, nutrition and livelihood assistance rose for the fourth consecutive year in 2022, due to conflict, climatic change, and COVID-19 impacts, the UN and partners said in a report published on Wednesday. 

More than a quarter of a billion people are now facing acute levels of hunger, and some are on the brink of starvation. That’s unconscionable,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres wrote in the foreword to the report. 

He described this latest edition as “a stinging indictment of humanity’s failure to make progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 2 to end hunger and achieve food security and improved nutrition for all.” 

More than 40 per cent of people at crisis or worse levels resided in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Northern Part of Kenya, parts of Nigeria, and Yemen. 

People in seven countries faced starvation and destitution, at some point last year, with nearly 60 per cent in Somalia.  The other countries were Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, South Sudan, Yemen and, for the first time, Haiti. 

Furthermore, in 30 of the 42 major food crisis contexts analyzed in the report, more than 35 million children under five, are wasted or acutely malnourished. 

Some 9.2 million of these boys and girls suffer from severe wasting, the most life-threatening form of undernutrition and a major contributor to increased child mortality.