Some 33 countries, including 26 in Africa, are in need of external assistance for food, due to drought, flooding and the needs of persons displaced by civil conflicts, according to FAO’s new Crop Prospects and Food Situation report.
The report said that food insecurity has worsened due to conflict, notably in Syria and Yemen, but also in countries such as Niger, Cameroon, Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo that have taken in refugees from neighbouring countries.
The number of people in West Africa in a Phase 3 Crisis or above classification is forecast to rise from around 8 million people currently to more than 10.7 million between June and August 2016.
In East Africa, marked by a severe drought in Ethiopia as well as protracted conflicts, the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance is estimated at 17 million, 50 percent higher than a year ago.
The Southern Africa sub-region is also facing some strains as early seasonal dryness linked to El Niño is impacting cropping activities for 2016 cereal crops.
FAO now expects the 2015 regional output of coarse grains in Africa to drop by 12 percent to 67 million tonnes. Global coarse grain production for the year is projected to decline by 2 percent to 1.3 billion tonnes.