Kids in Karamoja stand in anticipation of aid food during a past famine that hit the region.

Kampala: FAO has listed thirty nine countries that are most likely to be in need for food aid if the current rain patterns do not relent.

In the new Crop Prospects and Food Situation report Uganda’s below-average crop production is responsible for famine in some parts of the country. “About 0.44 million people are estimated to be severely food insecure due to the lingering effects of two consecutive seasons of reduced agricultural outputs in 2016,” it reads.

The report further notes that Uganda also hosts more than one million refugees from South Sudan in camps in the northwestern parts who depend on humanitarian assistance.

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The other 38 countries currently in need of external food assistance are Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Haiti, Iraq, Kenya and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Others are; Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Yemen and Zimbabwe.

That list of countries rose to 39 countries from the last report in March, with the addition of Cabo Verde and Senegal.

Meanwhile, the report says that the recent rains point to cereal production gains in East Africa after consecutive seasons of drought-reduced harvests. However, recent abundant rains triggered flooding in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, displacing about 800,000 people.

In contrast to the trend in the sub-region, staple food prices are high and rising in the Sudan and South Sudan, affecting access to food and intensifying food insecurity risks, the report says.

The number of severely food insecure people in South Sudan is expected to rise – in the absence of humanitarian assistance – to 7.1 million people during the current peak of the lean season (June-July).

FAO’s latest forecast for world cereal production in 2018 foresees a 1.5 percent annual drop from the record high realized the previous year. But the decline is larger in some areas, notably South and North America and Southern Africa.