A statement released this Monday by the World Food Program (WFP) in Rome indicates that a new maximum of 45 million people in 43 countries are on the fringes of a situation of extreme food shortage and that "minimal impact" could have disastrous consequences.
Compared to previous data released this year, the number of people at risk has increased by three million. In 2019 there were around 27 million in this situation.
According to the statement, the most serious situation is in Afghanistan, where the WFP is trying to help 23 million people, but there have also been increases in cases in Angola, Ethiopia, Haiti, Somalia, Kenya or Burundi.
The World Food Program stresses that seven billion dollars are needed to "avoid hunger globally".
"As the cost of humanitarian assistance rises exponentially, we need more funds to reach families around the world who have already exhausted their capacity to deal with extreme hunger," said WFP Executive Director David Beasley.
The official stressed that "tens of millions of people are looking to the abyss" and added that without funding and without aid, the 45 million victims of hunger will die.
"The WFP is carrying out the largest operation in its history, targeting 139 million people this year. But there are huge obstacles", reads the statement released this Monday.
Some of the reasons for the food insecurity records are conflict, instability, climate change, the covid-19 pandemic and rising food, fuel and fertilizer prices, according to David Beasley, who said "all these lead to new crises like the one now taking place in Afghanistan, as well as long-standing emergencies like Yemen and Syria."
The covid-19 pandemic is thought to have been responsible for an increase of 15 million people at risk of hunger.
The WFP, with 20,000 employees worldwide, is part of the United Nations and is governed by a governing board of 36 member states, seeking to help victims of conflict and disasters in 80 countries.