(Al Jazeera) Acute food insecurity has soared 40 percent this year as recent food price hikes have exacerbated existing pressures from conflict, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said.
Defined as any lack of food that threatens lives, livelihoods or both, acute food insecurity is affecting, or is at high risk of affecting, a record 270 million people this year, the UN agency said.
“High food prices are hunger’s new best friend,” said WFP Chief Economist Arif Husain.
“We already have conflict, climate and COVID-19 working together. Now food prices have joined the deadly trio,” he added.
The WFP said average wheat flour prices in Lebanon have risen 219 percent year-on-year amid accelerating economic turmoil, while cooking oil prices have soared 440 percent versus a year ago in war-devastated Syria.