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301. Global Report on Food Crisis: 155 million people are acutely food insecure

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The Global Network Against Food Crises (GNAFC) is an international network of UN, EU, governmental and non-governmental organizations working together to address food crises. It was established by the EU, FAO and WFP in 2016 to achieve SDG Goal 2 (zero hunger). This month, it released its annual report, the Global Report on Food Crises 2021.

According to the report, at least 155 million people were acutely food insecure (IPC/CH Phase 3 and above*) last year. This is an increase of about 20 million people from the previous year and has continued to rise since 2017, when the first annual report was published. Of these, 133,000 were classified as Phase 5, the most severe phase of acute food insecurity, particularly in Burkina Faso, South Sudan and Yemen where urgent action was needed to avert widespread death and disruption of livelihoods. In addition, in the 55 food-crisis countries/territories covered by the report, more than 15 million children under the age of five were suffering from wasting syndrome, a condition in which a person is too light in weight for his or her height, suggesting acute undernutrition.

Africa is the most severely affected region, with two out of three people facing acute food insecurity are on the African continent. However, countries in other regions such as Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria, and Haiti are also experiencing severe food insecurity.

The main causes are conflicts (99 million people, up from 77 million the previous year), economic shocks due to COVID-19 (40 million people, up from 24 million), and extreme weather events (16 million people, down from 34 million).  The outlook for 2021 and beyond is also grim. The Global Network emphasizes the need for urgent and decisive action and calls for the mobilization of the international community to fight hunger.

*Note: IPC/CH level is an indicator of acute food insecurity, indicating (1) minimal/none, (2) stressed, (3) crisis, (4) emergency, and (5) catastrophe/famine. It is a different indicator from chronic hunger in the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report published by FAO and others, and implies more extreme hunger. 
 

References
FSIN and Global Network Against Food Crises. 2021. Global Report on Food Crises 2021. Rome. http://https://www.fsinplatform.org/sites/default/files/resources/ files/GRFC2021.pdf
FAO. press release. Acute food insecurity soars to five-year high warns global report on food crises. http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/1397355/icode/ Accessed on May 24.

Contributor: SHIRATORI Sakiko (Information and Public Relations Office)