Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 33 n° 244

UN agencies concerned by looming famine in Northern Ethiopia

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 13 giugno 2021

Rome – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and UNICEF call for urgent action to address the dramatic acute food insecurity in northern Ethiopia. The three agencies are particularly concerned about the situation in Tigray region where the risk of famine is imminent, unless food, livelihood assistance and other life-saving interventions continue to be scaled-up, unimpeded access is guaranteed, and hostilities cease.The call came in response to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis, released today. The IPC is a global, multi-partner initiative – comprised of 15 UN agencies, regional organisations, and international non-governmental organisations – that facilitates improved decision-making through the provision of consensus-based food insecurity and malnutrition analysis.According to the report, over 350 000 people are already facing catastrophic conditions (IPC 5, Catastrophe) in Tigray region. This is the highest number of people classified in IPC 5 Catastrophe in a single country in the last decade.Over 60 percent of the population, more than 5.5 million people, grapple with high levels of acute food insecurity (IPC 3-5) in Tigray and the neighbouring zones of Amhara and Afar. Of these, 2 million people are in Emergency level of acute food insecurity (IPC 4) and without urgent action could quickly slide into starvation.The severity of acute food insecurity is expected to increase through September, particularly in Tigray, with over 400 000 people projected to face catastrophic conditions (IPC 5, Catastrophe) without urgent and unhindered aid. The UN agencies are particularly concerned by the risk of famine in Tigray if conflict escalates and humanitarian assistance is significantly hampered. The lack of reliable and comprehensive data on people’s food security situation in western Tigray is also deeply worrying. According to the IPC report, the key cause of acute food insecurity in Tigray is conflict as it has led to massive population displacement, widespread destruction of livelihoods and critical infrastructure, and loss of employment. Conflict has also limited access to markets.An increase in conflict could push more people to flee their homes and prevent families from accessing food distribution points or other food and livelihood sources, noted the report.Conflict-hit Tigray is already the most at-risk region with 4 million people – 70 percent of the population – experiencing high levels of acute food insecurity (IPC 3 or above). Bordering areas in neighbouring Afar and Amhara regions, which host a large number of internally displaced persons from Tigray, have 60 percent and 41 percent of their populations in high levels of acute food insecurity (over 450,000 and 1 million people respectively).Food assistance and nutritional support are expected to be scaled up and reach a large proportion of the population, but unhindered access and urgent funding are paramount for this.

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