By SAM MEDNICK
DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — A United Nations official has warned that more than 25,000 people could face starvation in conflict-plagued parts of West Africa next year. Federico Doehnert of the World Food Program said violence and the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine are largely driving the threat to people in Nigeria, Mali and Burkina Faso. He said Friday that nearly 80% of people facing catastrophic hunger, some 20,000, are in Burkina Faso’s Sahel region. Jihadis linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group have besieged cities and cut off assistance there. The U.N. said this week that climate change, severe floods and droughts have compounded the humanitarian crisis.