Acute hunger is set to soar in over 20 countries in the coming months without urgent and scaled-up assistance, warn the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP) in a new report issued recently.
Yemen, South Sudan and northern Nigeria top the list and face catastrophic levels of acute hunger, with families in pockets of South Sudan and Yemen already in the grip of or at risk of starvation and death according to the Hunger Hotspots report.
Although the majority of the affected countries are in Africa, acute hunger is due to rise steeply in most world regions - from Afghanistan in Asia, Syria and Lebanon in the Middle East, to Haiti in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Already, over 34 million people are grappling with emergency levels of acute hunger (IPC4) - meaning they are one step away from starvation - across the world.
"The magnitude of suffering is alarming. It is incumbent upon all of us to act now and to act fast to save lives, safeguard livelihoods and prevent the worst situation," said FAO Director-General QU Dongyu.
People in South Sudan, Yemen and northern Nigeria remain most at risk of rising and dangerously high acute food insecurity. In Burkina Faso, food security has slightly improved since last October, but the situation is still very concerning.