Conflicts, crises block progress to end hunger in Near East and North Africa

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An Egyptian farmer feeding cows fresh fodder. Photo: FAO/Giulio Napolitano

Conflicts and protracted crises are blocking efforts to end hunger in the Near East and North Africa, a new report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has said.

Before 2010, the two regions were growing more food, while successfully fighting stunting, anaemia, undernourishment and poverty, the agency said.

Severe food insecurity in those areas is affecting 30 million people.

Jocelyne Sambira has more.

Food security and nutrition levels in the Near East and North Africa have sharply deteriorated over the last five years, undermining the progress made to end hunger in those regions.

That's according to a new report released by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Monday.

The decline is largely driven by the spread and intensity of conflicts and protracted crises, the agency found.

The Syria crisis in particular has left more than half of the population in need of food assistance and 4.8 million refugees, mostly in neighbouring countries.

The numbers of food insecure and internally displaced are also rising in Iraq and Yemen.

Beyond conflicts and crises, the report argues that water scarcity and climate change are the most fundamental challenges to ending hunger, achieving food security, improving nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture by 2030.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 57”

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