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GRFC 2022: Almost 193 Million People in 53 Countries Suffered Acute Food Insecurity in 2021 

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UN Record 193 million people faced food insecurity in 2021

The 6th annual Global Report on Food Crises (GRFC) titled “Global Report on Food Crises 2022: Joint analysis for better decisions” (GRFC 2022), flagship publication of the Global Network Against Food Crises (GNAFC) and is facilitated by the Food Security Information Network (FSIN) states that around 193 million people in 53 countries suffered acute food insecurity in 2021 due to conflict, weather extremes, and the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

  • GRFC is jointly produced by the Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO) of the United Nations (UN), the World Food Programme (WFP), and the European Union (EU).

About GRFC: 

The GRFC 2022 is the result of a consensus-based and multi-partner analytical process involving 17 international humanitarian and development partners. 

Note: The GNAFC, founded by FAO, WFP, and EU in 2016, is an international alliance of the UN, EU, and governmental and non-governmental agencies working to tackle food crises together.

Key Points:

i.GRFC focuses on crises where the local capacities to respond are insufficient, prompting a request for the urgent mobilization of the international community, as well as countries/territories where there is ample evidence that the magnitude and severity of the food crisis exceed the local resources and capacities needed to respond effectively.

ii.It provides estimates for populations in countries/territories where data are available, based on the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) and Cadre Harmonisé (CH) or comparable sources.

iii.Populations in Crisis or worse (IPC/CH Phase 3 or above) or equivalent, are in need of urgent food and livelihood assistance.

Key Figures:

i.According to the report, more than 193 million people in 53 countries have experienced acute food insecurity at crisis or worse levels (IPC/CH Phase 3-5) in 2021. This represents an increase of around 40 million people compared to 2020, reported in GRFC 2021. 

ii.Of these, more than half a million people (570000) in Ethiopia, southern Madagascar, South Sudan and Yemen were classified in the most severe phase of acute food insecurity Catastrophe (IPC/CH Phase 5) and required urgent action to avert a widespread collapse of livelihoods, starvation and death. 

iii.Considering the 39 countries or territories featured in all the editions of the report, the number of people facing a crisis or worse nearly doubled between 2016 and 2021, with an unabated rise each year since 2018. 

iv.The report forecasts that Somalia will face one of the world’s worst food crises in 2022 due to prolonged drought, increasing food prices and persistent violence.

Key Drivers Behind Rising Acute Food Insecurity in 2021:

  • Conflict – is the main driver in pushing 139 million people in 24 countries or territories into acute food insecurity up from around 99 million in 23 countries/territories in 2020.  (This report was written prior to the Russia-Ukraine conflict)
  • Weather extremes – pushed more than 23 million people in 8 countries or territories (an increase from 15.7 million in 15 countries or territories in 2020). 
  • Economic shocks – pushed over 30 million people in 21 countries or territories (a decrease from over 40 million people in 17 countries or territories in 2020 mainly due to the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic). 

Note: FAO needs 1.5 billion USD to stabilise and increase local food production in at-risk regions where the planting season is starting

Recent Related News:

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)’s The State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA) 2021 Report entitled “Making agrifood systems more resilient to shocks and stresses” states the need to enhance the resilience of the agri-food systems to address food security.

The report provides an assessment of the ability of national agrifood systems to respond to or recover readily from shocks and stresses.

About Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO) of the United Nations (UN):

Director-General– Qu Dongyu
Headquarters– Rome, Italy