Global food crisis report: Acute food insecurity hits new highs (2023)

JOINT EU/FAO/WFP Press Release

ROM- The number of people facing acute food insecurity and in urgent need of vital food assistance and livelihood support continues to grow at an alarming rate. It is therefore more urgent than ever to address the root causes of food crises rather than simply reacting after they occur. This is an important discoveryan annual reportstarted today fromGlobal network against food crises(GNAFC) – an international alliance of the United Nations, European Union, governmental and non-governmental organizations working together to address food crises.

The report focuses on countries and territories where the scale and severity of the food crisis exceeds local resources and capacities. In these situations, the mobilization of the international community is necessary.

key figures

The document shows that an estimated 193 million people in 53 countries or territories were affected by acute food insecurity at crisis levels or worse (IPC/CH Phase 3-5) in 2021. This represents an increase of nearly 40 million people in compared to already existing record numbers in 2020. Of these, more than half a million people (570,000) were displaced in Ethiopia, southern Madagascar, southern Sudan and Yemen during the most severe phase of the acute food insecurity crisis (IPC/CH phase 5) and need urgent action to avoid a widespread collapse of livelihoods, starvation and death.

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Looking at the same 39 countries or territories featured in all editions of the report, the number of people affected by a crisis or worse (IPC/CH Phase 3 or higher) nearly doubled between 2016 and 2021, with a steady increase every year since. 2018 .

The causes of food crises

These worrying trends are the result of multiple interacting factors, from conflicts to environmental and climate, economic and health crises, with poverty and inequality as proximate causes.

Conflicts remain the main cause of food insecurity. Although the analysis was done before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the report concludes that the war has already exposed the interconnectedness and fragility of global food systems, with serious implications for global food security and nutrition. Countries already facing high levels of acute hunger are particularly vulnerable to the risks created by the war in Eastern Europe, mainly due to their high dependence on imports of food and agricultural inputs and their vulnerability to global food price shocks, notes said.

The main causes of the increase in acute food insecurity in 2021 were:

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  • Conflict (main factor driving 139 million people in 24 countries/territories to acute food insecurity, against about 99 million in 23 countries/territories in 2020);
  • extreme weather (more than 23 million people in 8 countries/territories, compared to 15.7 million in 15 countries/territories);
  • economic shocks – (more than 30 million people in 21 countries/territories, less than 40 million people in 17 countries/territories in 2020, mainly due to the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic).

Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, said: “Russia's invasion of Ukraine is threatening global food security. The international community must act to prevent the greatest food crisis in history and the social, economic and political upheaval that will follow. The EU is committed to tackling all the drivers of food insecurity: conflict, climate change, poverty and inequalities. While there is a need for immediate assistance to save lives and prevent hunger, we must continue to help partner countries transition to sustainable agri-food systems and resilient supply chains, harnessing the full potential of the Green Deal and the Global Gateway.” .

Crisis Management Commissioner Janez Lenarčič said: “There should be no place for hunger in the 21st century. However, we see many people straying from the path to prosperity. A clear message was heard today: if we are to avoid a major global food crisis, we must act now and work together. I think the international community is up to the task. Through the use of collective action and pooling resources, our global solidarity is stronger and broader. As demonstrated by its aid funding and the synergies between humanitarian development and peace, the EU remains committed to tackling this food and nutrition crisis together with the international community."

"The tragic link between conflict and food insecurity is once again evident and alarming," said FAO Director-General QU Dongyu. “While the international community has responded boldly to calls for urgent action to prevent and contain famine, resources have been mobilized to address the root causes of food crises, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, globals and war. . in Ukraine, is still struggling to meet growing demand. The results of this year's Global Report show once again the need to jointly address acute food insecurity globally in humanitarian, development and peace-related contexts.

“Acute hunger is reaching unprecedented levels and the global situation is getting worse. Conflict, the climate crisis, COVID-19 and rising food and fuel costs created a perfect storm, and now we have the war in Ukraine piling up disasters. Millions of people in dozens of countries are on the verge of starvation. We urgently need emergency assistance to pull them back off the cliff and reverse this global crisis before it is too late,” said WFP Executive Director David Beasley.

A paradigm shift

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“The situation calls for comprehensive action to move towards integrated prevention, anticipation and better targeting approaches to sustainably address the root causes of food crises, including structural rural poverty, marginalization, population growth and food systems. Fragile,” said the European Union-FAO. -WFP - founding members of the Global Network - along with USAID and the World Bank in a joint statement published this week.

The report's findings demonstrate the need for greater prioritization of family farming as a frontline humanitarian response, to overcome barriers to access, and as a solution to reversing long-term negative trends. Furthermore, encouraging structural changes in the allocation of external funds to allow humanitarian aid to be reduced over time through long-term development investments can address the root causes of hunger. In parallel, we must work together to promote more efficient and sustainable ways of delivering humanitarian aid.

Similarly, strengthening a coordinated approach to ensuring that humanitarian, development and peacekeeping operations are implemented in a holistic and coordinated manner, and ensuring and preventing further escalation of conflict as an unintended consequence, will also contribute to building and restoring the resilience.


Note to the editor

(Video) Webinar 113: Reporting the Global Food Crisis

Acute food insecurity occurs when a person's inability to eat adequate food puts their life or livelihood in imminent danger. It is based on internationally recognized measures to combat extreme hunger, such asClassification of stages of integrated food security(CPI) and theharmonized framework. It is not the same as chronic hunger, reported every year in the UN's annual report on the state of food and nutrition security in the world. Chronic hunger occurs when a person is unable to consume enough food to maintain a normal, active lifestyle for an extended period of time.

About the global network and the global report

Founded in 2016 by the European Union, FAO and WFP, the Global Network Against Food Crises is a coalition of humanitarian and development actors working together to prevent, prepare for and respond to food crises and advance the Sustainable Development Goal. End hunger (SDG 2) .

The Global Report on Food Crises is the flagship publication of the Global Network and is supported byFood safety information network(FSIN). The report is the result of a consensus-based multisectoral review process involving 17 international humanitarian and development partners.

Top notch launch event

(Video) Webinar 113: Reporting on the Global Food Crisis

A high-level launch event will bring together leading humanitarian and development actors to discuss the Global Report's findings and design a collective response to the acute hunger situation facing the world today. The virtual event begins May 4 at 2:30 pm Roman time and can be followed via live webcaston here.


1. The Global Food Crisis - Explained!
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3. What’s causing the global food crisis? | Inside Story
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4. Global Food Crisis, Food Insecurity, discussion on Sansad TV #upscmains #mainsanswerwriting
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5. A world going hungry? How conflict and climate change disrupt global food supply | Business Beyond
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6. Will there be a global food shortage?
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