According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, acute food insecurity affected about 193 million people in more than 50 countries last year, up by 40 million from 2020. (FAO).
Many people have suffered acute malnutrition as a result of conflicts, climate change, and the world’s recent economic problems, according to the Global Network Against Food Crises’ annual report.
More than 500,000 people in Ethiopia, southern Madagascar, South Sudan, and Yemen were classed as being in the most severe phase of acute food insecurity, according to the report.
Meanwhile, the number of persons experiencing food insecurity doubled between 2016 and 2021, and the numbers have been steadily rising since 2018.
Extreme weather, conflicts, and economic shocks are the main drivers of food insecurity in 2021, according to the analysis.
In 2021, conflicts alone affected 139 million people, primarily in nations with severe political tensions and humanitarian problems including the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Afghanistan, and Yemen.
The impact of the Ukrainian conflict, which has already impacted the world food supply, generating shortages in food production, higher food bills, fuel, and fertilizer costs, is not included in the GNAFC’s 2021 report.
However, countries that rely heavily on food and agricultural imports from Eastern Europe are more exposed to the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, according to the analysis.
“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine puts world food security in jeopardy.” “The international community must act to avert the world’s worst food crisis and the resulting social, economic, and political chaos,” said Jutta Urpilainen, Commissioner for International Partnerships.
Urpilainen advocated for international cooperation to prevent global starvation while also assisting countries in transitioning to more sustainable agri-food systems and resilient supply chains “by fully utilizing the Green Deal and the Global Gateway.”
According to FAO’s estimations for 2022, up to 181 million people may face extreme food insecurity by the end of the year.
Governments and policymakers are urged to undertake integrated methods to solve food crises, including structural rural poverty, marginalization, population increase, and vulnerable food systems, according to the UN organization.
FAO has urged for increased humanitarian and peacekeeping efforts in response to food crises, as well as support for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal to End Hunger (SDG 2).