An estimated 27 million people across seven African nations face acute food insecurity, a recent report said.
The figure accounts for 24% of the total food insecure people in the world, said the report by African bloc Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the Food Security Information Network (FSIN).
The report draws special attention to the plight of millions of people experiencing acute levels of food and nutrition insecurity in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, and Uganda.
According to the report climatic shocks, conflict and economic instability were the drivers of food insecurity in East Africa.
The worst-affected countries in 2018 in terms of acute food insecurity were Ethiopia (8.1 million), Sudan (6.2 million) and South Sudan (6.1 million).
“In South Sudan, 59% of the population, or six out of ten people required urgent assistance to protect livelihoods, reduce food consumption gaps and malnutrition. In Somalia, more than one in five people (or 22% of the population) were acutely food insecure,” it said.
“I call on IGAD specialized offices, Member States and partners to invest further in resilience, adaptation to climate change, conflict prevention and sustaining peace to overcome vulnerability and address the root causes of hunger and malnutrition,” an IGAD press release quoted the Executive Secretary Mahboub Maalim as saying.