Global Report on Food Crisis 2020

Global Report on Food Crisis 2020

The Global Report on Food Crisis 2020 has been released by the Global Network Against Food Crises, made of international humanitarian and development partners.

Global Report on Food Crisis 2020

GS Paper II: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector or Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Context: The Global Report on Food Crisis 2020 has been released by the Global Network Against Food Crises, made of  international humanitarian and development partners. 

Global Report on Food Crisis 2020

Key Findings of the Global Report on Food Crisis 2020

The 2020 edition (the fourth annual report on global food crisis) of The Global Report on Food Crises describes the scale of acute hunger in the world. It provides an analysis of the drivers that are contributing to food crises across the globe, and examines how the COVID-19 pandemic might contribute to their deterioration. Some of its key findings are:

  • At 135 million, the number of people in Crisis or worse (IPC/CH Phase 3 or above) in 2019 was the highest in the four years of the GRFC’s existence.
  • An estimated 75 million stunted children were living in the 55 food-crisis countries analysed.
  • Conflict/insecurity was still the main driver of food crises in 2019, but weather extremes and economic shocks became increasingly significant.
  • Over half of the 77 million acutely food-insecure people in countries where conflict was identified as the primary driver were in the Middle East and Asia.
  • Africa had the largest numbers of acutely food-insecure people in need of assistance in countries badly affected by weather events, particularly in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa, followed by Central America and Pakistan.
  • Around 183 million people in 47 countries were classified in Stressed (IPC/CH Phase 2) conditions, at risk of slipping into Crisis or worse (IPC/CH Phase 3 or above) if confronted by an additional shock or stressor.
  • An estimated 79 million people remained displaced globally as of mid-2019 – 44 million of them internally displaced and 20 million were refugees under UNHCR’s mandate.


About Food Insecurity

Food insecurity refers to the lack of secure access to sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food for normal human growth and development and an active and healthy life. For people to be food secure, food must be both consistently available and accessible in sufficient quantities and diversity and households must be able to utilize (store, cook, prepare and share) the food in a way that has a positive nutritional impact.

Acute Food Insecurity

  • Acute food insecurity is any manifestation of food insecurity at a specific point in time of a severity that threatens lives, livelihoods or both, regardless of the causes, context or duration.
  • These acute states are highly susceptible to change and can manifest in a population within a short amount of time, as a result of sudden changes or shocks that negatively impact on the determinants of food insecurity and malnutrition.

Chronic Food Insecurity

  • Chronic food Insecurity is a long-term or persistent inability to meet dietary energy requirements (lasting for a significant period of time during the year).
  • FAO defines this as ‘undernourishment’ and it is the basis for the SDG indicator 2.1.1.


Drivers of Food Insecurity

The key drivers of food insecurity includes:

  • Conflict/insecurity: This includes interstate conflicts, internal violence, regional or global instability, civil unrest or political crises leading to displacements.
  • Weather Extremes: These include droughts, floods and the untimely start of rainy seasons. Weather-related events can directly affect crops and/or livestock, cut off roads and prevent markets from being stocked.
    • Poor harvests push up food prices and diminish agricultural employment opportunities, lowering income at a time when households are more market-reliant because of reduced food stocks.
  • Economic Shocks: Economic shocks can affect the food insecurity of households or individuals through various channels.
    • Macroeconomic shocks, characterized by high inflation or hyperinflation, significant currency depreciation, worsening terms of trade, high unemployment rates and loss of income, a significant contraction in exports and a critical decrease in investments and other capital inflows tend to coincide with increases in acute food insecurity. Increases in prices of staple grains, oil or agricultural inputs can affect food availability, food prices and incomes.
    • Microeconomic shocks are characterized by rising food prices, lack of income sources and consequent reduction in purchasing power, which directly affect households’ food security.

READ MORE | Global Report on Internal Displacement (GRID) 2020

Apart from the above primary drivers, there are other drivers also that lead to food insecurity. These are:

  • Health Shocks: Disease outbreaks (occurrence of disease cases in excess of normal expectancy) are usually caused by an infection, transmitted through person-to-person contact, animal-to-person contact, or from the environment or other media.
    • Epidemics and pandemics can also affect the ability of people to carry on their activities and livelihoods and, in the worst cases when widespread, may also affect markets and supply chains.
  • Crop pests and animal diseases: Fall armyworms, desert locusts, etc can damage crops and may lead to severe production shortfalls.
  • Natural disasters (non-weather related): Disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions can lead to major property, infrastructure and/or environmental damage as well as loss of human life.

PRELIMS Background Bites

About Global Network Against Food Crises

  • The Global Network Against Food Crises was co-founded by the European Union, FAO and WFP at the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit (WHS).
  • It was founded in response to the call for new approaches to tackle protracted crises and recurrent disasters, reduce vulnerability and better manage risks by bridging the divide between development, humanitarian and conflict-preventing action. The latter is often referred to as the humanitarian–development–peace (HDP) nexus.
  • Partners in the Global Network work together and achieve results at national, regional and global level in three key areas:
    • Evidence-based analyses of food crisis risks and of people’s resilience to various shocks; knowledge management and communication monitoring, evaluation and learning.
    • Strategic investments for addressing and preventing food crises.
    • Synergies and coordination with other sectors to address the full spectrum of humanitarian, development and peace-building needs. This aims to deliver a more inclusive, equitable, resilient and sustainable set of context-specific responses and solutions.

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