Food Insecurity Soars to 5-Year High: Report

    Wahyu Dwi Anggoro - 05 May 2021 17:13 WIB
    Food Insecurity Soars to 5-Year High: Report
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    Rome: The number of people facing acute food insecurity and needing urgent life and livelihood-saving assistance has hit a five-year high in 2020 in countries beset by food crises, an annual report launched today by the Global Network Against Food Crises (GNAFC) has found.

    GNAFC is an international alliance of the UN, the EU, governmental and non-governmental agencies working to tackle food crises together.


    The stark warning from the 2021 Global Report on Food Crises reveals that conflict, or economic shocks that are often related to covid-19 along with extreme weather, are continuing to push millions of people into acute food insecurity.

    The Global Network Against Food Crises report reveals that at least 155 million people experienced acute food insecurity at Crisis or worse levels across 55 countries/territories in 2020 - an increase of around 20 million people from the previous year, and raises a stark warning about a worrisome trend: acute food insecurity has kept up its relentless rise since 2017 - the first edition of the report.

    "One year after the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic, the outlook for 2021 and beyond is grim. Conflict, pandemic-related restrictions fuelling economic hardship and the persistent threat of adverse weather conditions will likely continue driving food crises," said the European Union (EU), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) - founding members of the Global Network - together with USAID in a joint statement released with the report. 

    Countries in Africa remained disproportionally affected by acute food insecurity. 

    Close to 98 million people facing acute food insecurity in 2020 - or two out of three - were on the African continent. 

    However, other parts of the world have also not been spared, with countries including Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria and Haiti among the ten worst food crises last year.   

    The key drivers behind rising acute food insecurity in 2020 were conflict, economic shocks, covid-19 and weather extremes.

    In 2021, while conflict will remain the major driver of food crises, covid-19 and related containment measures and weather extremes will continue to exacerbate acute food insecurity in fragile economies.

    "The covid-19 pandemic has revealed the fragility of the global food system and the need for more equitable, sustainable and resilient systems to nutritiously and consistently feed 8.5 billion people by 2030. A radical transformation of our agri-food systems is needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals," they stated.


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