More than 113 million people around the world suffered from acute hunger last year, according to a report issued this year by the Food Security Information Network. Spread across 53 countries, these people were so stressed by lack of food security that they required urgent assistance on one of the most fundamental needs human beings have.

The areas where this need was most urgent are ones in which poverty or other insecurity is common. Nearly 16 million people were in Yemen, for example — a country gutted by war. The crisis spills across national boundaries: Millions of Syrians experienced a food crisis, but so did Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.

These stresses are not confined to Africa and Asia. Here in the Western Hemisphere, several countries experienced similar stress, including the so-called northern triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras in Central America.

The scale of the crisis in those countries pales next to Yemen or Congo.  […]