Hunger Hotspots through January 2023

PHP is supporting partners in 11 of the 19 hunger hotspots identified by the FAO & WFP

By Eileen Schuhmann | Presbyterian Hunger Program

A man carries bags of rice six weeks after Hurricane Matthew devastated much of the southern coast of Haiti in October 2016. Food imports, natural disasters, forced displacement and government corruption all contribute to the country’s deep poverty. Photo by Cindy Corell

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of creating a world free of hunger by 2030 seems destined to fail as extreme hunger and food insecurity continue an upward trend.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) have identified 19 hunger hotspots – countries and regions where there is already high acute food insecurity – for which food insecurity is expected to escalate between October 2022 and January 2023.

Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen are the countries of greatest concern since they all have populations that are already faced with starvation or likely to face starvation in the coming months.

Key drivers of acute food insecurity were assessed in the report Hunger Hotspots FAO‑WFP early warnings on acute food insecurity: October 2022 to January 2023 Outlook to determine the impact across countries.

The FAO and WFP have identified 3 key drivers of acute food insecurity:

Violence and armed conflict

Incidents of global violence have been increasing month by month throughout all of 2022 and represent the greatest risk to food insecurity worldwide. In Haiti, we have seen unprecedented gang violence which has restricted people’s abilities to carry out their daily activities and pursue their livelihoods, caused disruptions to the transportation of goods and services, and driven up prices for fuel and food.

Natural disasters

Floods and droughts are having major impacts on food production in countries that already struggle with food security. In southern Madagascar, we have seen what is likely the first climate change provoked famine due to severe drought and crop failure the past two years. In South Sudan, above‑average rainfall in certain zones has led to flooding, damaging crop land and displacing communities.

Economic crisis

Many low-income countries are in a situation of economic crisis due to covid-19 disruptions and related expenses, inflation (especially increasing food, fuel, and energy prices), high levels of indebtedness that keep increasing as the interest rates climb in lender countries, political instability, corruption, and conflict. This past April, Sri Lanka suspended its repayment of foreign debt, and the central bank declared the country bankrupt – the country is now experiencing high levels of food insecurity.

In the past five years, the Presbyterian Hunger Program has made it a priority to support communities in many of these countries that are experiencing extreme food insecurity and famine. Our approach is to support partners around the world who are working in their communities to identify why people are hungry and to implement long-term solutions.

Here is a list of some of the programs that PHP is supporting in 2023 in countries identified as hunger hotspots by the FAO and WFP:


Groupement Agropastoral Yangadev
Training people in agro-pastoral production and income generation


Platform of Civil Society Organizations Working in the Mining Sector (POM)
Campaign will support local communities living around mines in the management of funds from subnational revenues for local development

Programme de Développement Est Kasaï (Prodek)
Training women and girls in small income generation and management and provide them with micro-credit for their income generating activities


Mouvement Paysan Papaye
Providing legal assistance to victims of land grab, distributing vegetable seeds to revive agricultural production, and training people on land tenure laws and land grabbing

Fondasyon Men-lan-men Ayiti (FONDAMA)
Campaign will support and protect the rights of peasants to agricultural land


Equipo de Colaboracion y Reflexion (ECORE)
Training farmers in agroecological production and support a campaign for agroecological production


Civil Society for Poverty Eradication (CISCOPE)
Restoring WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) infrastructure through rehabilitation of hand pump boreholes and construction of new solar-powered overhead boreholes with tanks, and capacity building


Kaalmo Relief and Development
Distributing dairy goats to the most vulnerable who lost their livestock as a result of cyclic drought


Hope Restoration South Sudan
Providing seeds and tools to women and training in horticulture, crop production, post-harvest management, record keeping, and value chain addition


Fruits, Vegetables, and Environmental Education Program (FVEE) of the Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar (FJKM)
Providing hunger relief by improving water availability, providing food assistance in schools, and increasing agricultural opportunities for the people most affected by severe drought


Kasupe Ministries Malawi
Empowering women economically through chicken and egg production


Praja Abhilasha
Campaign will defend people’s rights to resources and land, promote food sovereignty, and build models of sustainable rural livelihoods


Generations without Qat
Supporting livelihoods by providing income generation inputs and vocational training to vulnerable families to rehabilitate their basic livelihood activities that have been disrupted and/or destroyed


The work of the Presbyterian Hunger Program is possible thanks to your gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing.


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