Drought linked to El Niño and civil conflict has pushed the number of countries currently in need of external food assistance up to 37 from 34 in March, according to a new FAO report.

The new edition of the Crop Prospects and Food Situation report sighted by NaijaAgoNet, adds that Papua New Guinea, Haiti and Nigeria to the list of countries requiring outside help to feed their own populations or communities of refugees they are hosting.

In Haiti, NaijaAgoNet gathered the output of cereals and starchy roots in 2015 dropped to its lowest level in 12 years. Around 3.6 million people, more than one-third of the population, are food insecure, almost half of them “severely”, while at least 200 000 are in an extreme food emergency situation.

According to the report, Haiti’s woes are largely due to El Niño, which has also exacerbated the worst drought in decades in Central America’s dry corridor.

In Southern Africa, El Niño impacts have significantly worsened food security and the 2016 cereal harvest currently underway is expected to drop by 26 percent from the already reduced level of the previous year, triggering a “substantial rise” in maize prices and import requirements in the coming marketing year.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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This post was originally published at Naija AgroNet and has been republished with permission.

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