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At Least 155 Million People faced Acute Food Insecurity in 2020: GNAFC Report

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UN says 155 million people faced severe hunger last yearAccording to the ‘Global Report on Food Crises 2021 (GRFC)’ (5th Edition, Annual Report) launched by Global Network Against Food Crises (GNAFC), At least 155 million people (an increase of 20 million people from 2019) faced Acute Food Insecurity in 2020 due to conflicts, extreme weather & economic shocks caused by COVID-19.

  • The 155 million people include 1, 33, 000 people who needed urgent food to prevent widespread death from starvation.
  • The 2021 report focuses on 55 Countries which account for 97% of humanitarian assistance.
  • GRFC is an initiative of the Global Network against Food Crises (GNFC) facilitated by the Food Security Information Network (FSIN) and its 16 global and regional partners.

Key Points

i.Two-thirds of the people facing acute hunger were in 10 countries – Congo, Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria, Sudan, Northern Nigeria, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Zimbabwe and Haiti.

  • 1, 33, 000 people facing starvation, death were in Burkina Faso, South Sudan and Yemen.
  • Countries in Africa were highly affected by acute food insecurity – 98 million i.e 2 out of 3 people facing food insecurity were in Africa.

ii.60-80% of the 155 million people facing food shortage depend on agriculture.

iii.In terms of people facing a crisis, emergency or famine levels, 5 countries – Afghanistan, Haiti, Lesotho, Yemen and Zimbabwe had 40-45% of their populations at those levels.

iv.Factors driving food insecurity are

  • Conflict (Main Driver) – pushing almost 100 million people into acute food insecurity (up from 77 million in 2019.)
  • Economic Shocks – it pushed over 40 million people in 17 countries.
  • Weather extremes – over 15 million people, down from 34 million.

Stunting & Wasting in Children

  • In 2020, 75.2 million children under 5 years old living in 55 countries were ‘stunted’ in growth
  • 15.8 million were ‘wasted’, or underweight for their height.

Predictions for 2021

  • COVID-19 pandemic and large-scale economic crises are expected to extend food-crisis situations in 2021.
  • Around 155, 000 people are set to face ‘catastrophe/famine’ through mid-2021, of which 108, 000 will be in South Sudan & 47, 000 in Yemen.

Global Network against Food Crises (GNFC)

It is an initiative launched by the European Union, Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN & World Food Programme (WFP) during the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit (WHS).

  • It was set up to increase the resilience of vulnerable people’s livelihoods to food crises.

Recent Related News:

i.On March 5, 2021, According to ‘Food Waste Index Report 2021’ compiled by the UNEP & WRAP found that around 931 Million Tonnes  (1.03 Billion Tons) of Food waste was generated in 2019.

About Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO)

Director-General – QU Dongyu
Headquarters – Rome, Italy

About World Food Programme (WFP)

Executive Director – David Beasley
Headquarters – Rome, Italy