KARACHI: Despite efforts from various government and donor agencies the world is still suffering from food insecurity as millions of people at high starvation risk in 2021 owing to climate change, economic downturn and Covid-19.
The United Nations World Food Programme warned that the world is no longer moving towards Zero Hunger.
According to the international organisation, progress has stalled, reversed, and today, more than 270 million people are estimated to be acutely food insecure or at high risk in 2021.
WFP’s latest Global Operational Response Plan found that famine – driven by conflict and fuelled by climate shocks and the economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 – could soon become a reality for millions of people. The number of people teetering on the brink of famine – has risen from 34 million projected at the beginning of the year to 41 million projected as of June. Without immediate emergency food assistance, they too face starvation as the slightest shock will push them over the cliff into famine, WAM reported.
“The situation in 2021 is not business as usual, and it’s getting worse. We are extremely concerned about the world’s most vulnerable people as food prices continue to rise globally,” WFP said.
WFP is undertaking the biggest operation in its history targeting 139 million people this year. WFP is focused on scaling up life-saving food and nutrition assistance to meet the essential needs of those furthest behind, overcoming access challenges and expanding cash-based transfers with significant scale-ups foreseen across several operations including Ethiopia, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Sudan, and Syria.
WFP needs $5 billion in 2021 to avert famine and meet the urgent food and nutrition needs of those people most at risk, but the price of doing nothing is exponentially higher. The $5 billion for famine mitigation is approximately one-third of WFP’s total resourcing needs of $15 billion for 2021.