Acute food insecurity to rise in 22 crises-hit countries, including Pakistan: UN agencies.

Some 22 countries, including Pakistan, will see an increase in acute food insecurity over the next six months, according to a new early warning report issued by two Rome-based U.N. agencies.

The report by the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) calls for urgent attention to save both lives and livelihoods. It covers the period from June to November 2023.

Called 'Hunger Hotspots - WFP-FAO early warnings on acute food insecurity', the report identified 18 hotspots with Afghanistan, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen placed at the highest alert level and Haiti, the Sahel (Burkina Faso and Mali) and Sudan elevated to the highest concern levels.

'Business-as-usual pathways are no longer an option in today's risk landscape if we want to achieve global food security for all, ensuring that no one is left behind,' QU Dongyu, FAO Director-General, said in a statement.

'We need to provide immediate time-sensitive agricultural interventions to pull people from the brink of hunger, help them rebuild their lives, and provide long-term solutions to address the root causes of food insecurity. Investing in disaster risk reduction in the agriculture sector can unlock significant resilience dividends and must be scaled up,' he added.

The report also highlighted the risk of a spill-over of the Sudan crisis raising the risk of neighboring countries to negative impacts.

"Not only are more people in more places around the world going hungry, but the severity of the hunger they face is worse than ever,' Cindy McCain, WFP's Executive Director., said in a statement.

'This report makes it clear: we must act now to save lives, help people adapt to a changing climate, and ultimately prevent famine. If we don't, the results will be catastrophic,' McCain warned.

In addition, global economic shocks and stressors continue to drive 'acute hunger' across almost all hotspots, the report said.

With unusually high global food prices, low to...

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