Most of sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia are facing extreme or high risk of food shortages, according to a ranking of 148 nations obtained by AFP on Monday. Haiti is one of the five countries topping the risk list, with Angola, Mozambique, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Food stress jumped toward the top of the global agenda after soaring commodity prices in 2007 and 2008 sparked riots in 30 countries, including many tottering on the brink of severe shortages or widespread hunger. The World Bank estimates that food inflation during that period pushed an additional 100 million people into deep poverty, on top of a billion that were already scraping by on less than a dollar a day. Poverty is a major source of food vulnerability but not the only one, said the study by Maplecroft, a Britain-based firm that provides risk intelligence for businesses. “Food security is also affected by agricultural development, trade flows, foreign aid as well as government policies on nutrition,” said Alyson Warhurst, a professor at Warwick Business School in central England and co-director of Maplecroft. “Added to these are the impacts of population growth and climate change,” she told AFP.
Foor shortages in Haiti in 2008 led to widespread riots throughout the island.