Crisis-Prone Countries Need Special Attention, Report Says

Published on 06 October 2010

Countries in the grips of drawn-out crises require a special approach from aid agencies if they are to root out hunger. Copyright: WFP/Wayne Conradie

A group of 22 countries around the world are facing prolonged hunger crises and require special attention from the aid community, according to a new report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and WFP. The report underscored the need to protect and rebuild livelihoods in these countries.

ROME—Some 22 countries in the world are facing long-lasting hunger crises and require special attention from the aid community, according to a new report by WFP and the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) which highlighted the need to protect and rebuild livelihoods in these countries.

Nations cited in the State of Food Insecurity in the World (SOFI) report were all afflicted by some combination of natural disasters, social instability and outbreaks of violence. Download the report

Thinking ahead

WFP’s Purchase for Progress (P4P) initiative uses the agency’s purchasing power to buy locally-grown foods, thereby developing agricultural markets and supporting smallholder farmers. With most of the world’s poorest people living in rural areas and relying on farming, P4P boosts food security over the long term. Find out more

Afghanistan, Chad, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Ethiopia, Haiti, Somalia and Sudan were among countries cited by the report as facing protracted crises. (See complete list below)

Protecting livelihoods

“Faced with so many obstacles, it is little wonder that protracted crises can become a self-perpetuating, vicious cycle,” wrote WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran and FAO Director General Jacques Diouf in the article’s preface.

“There is an urgent need for assistance in protracted crises to protect livelihoods as well as lives, because this will help put the country on a constructive path to recovery.” 

Three recommendations

To that end, the report made three recommendations for providing assistance effectively in protracted-crisis situations.

The first is to better understand what effect man-made and natural calamities have on people’s livelihoods and learn how best to help them when disaster strikes.

The second is to provide people with the food and basic necessities they need to survive, so they won’t have to sacrifice assets like farmland or livestock in order to save fed. Just as importantly, food assistance should help people provide for themselves in the long term with projects that favour education and local markets.

The report’s final recommendation was to adapt the support structures behind aid operations to match the challenges and constraints of working in a protracted-crisis situation.

Ongoing crises

Here is a list of countries cited by the SOFI report as suffering from protracted hunger crises: Afghanistan, Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Haiti, Iraq, Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Tajikistan, Uganda, Zimbabwe