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Famine Crisis May Worsen This Year in Four Countries

LONDON — Global food crises worsened significantly in 2016 and conditions look set to deteriorate further this year in some areas with an increasing risk of famine, a report said on Friday.

"There is a high risk of famine in some areas of north-eastern Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen because of armed conflict, drought and macro-economic collapse," the Food Security Information Network (FSIN) said.

FSIN, which is co-sponsored by the United Nations food agency, the World Food Programme and the International Food Policy Research Institute, said the demand for humanitarian assistance was escalating.

Image: Women and children wait to be treated at a Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) support clinic in Thaker, Southern Unity
Women and children wait to be treated at a Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) support clinic in Thaker, Southern Unity, South Sudan March 20, 2017. Siegfried Modola / Reuters

FSIN said that 108 million people were reported to be facing crisis level food insecurity or worse in 2016, a drastic increase from the previous year's total of almost 80 million.

The network uses a five phase scale with the third level classified as crisis, fourth as emergency and fifth as famine/catastrophe.

"In 2017, widespread food insecurity is likely to persist in Iraq, Syria (including among refugees in neighboring countries), Malawi and Zimbabwe," the report said.