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Global Report on Food Crises 2023

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This is a summary of the following report: Food Security Information Network (2023) 2023 Global Report on Food Crises. https://www.fsinplatform.org/report/global-report-food-crises-2023/

 

The 7th iteration of the annual Global Report on Food Crises (GRFC) was published in 2023 and contains a comprehensive analysis of acute food insecurity across regional, national, and sub-national levels during 2022. A full breakdown of the findings and methods employed in this technical, evidence-based, 213-page report is beyond the scope of this summary, but some of its key themes are explored below. The report draws on data from 2022 with the support of 16 GRFC partner organisations. Data was drawn predominantly from the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification1(IPC) or the Cadre Harmonisé2 – among others.

Almost 258 million people across 58 countries were in ‘crisis’ or food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 or above). This is a marked increase on the previous year (193 million across 53 countries), even when accounting for global population increase during the same period.

“Conflicts and mass displacement continue to drive global hunger. Rising poverty, deepening inequalities, rampant underdevelopment, the climate crisis, and natural disasters also contribute to food insecurity” – António Guterres, in a foreword to the report

The lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic were an effect multiplier for, if not a direct cause of, many recurrent shocks. Economic shocks were the main driver of acute food insecurity in 27 countries – with the war in Ukraine being a key upstream factor. The war, arriving shortly after the macroeconomic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, has exerted a domino effect on other countries due to Ukraine and Russia’s contribution to global fuel, fertiliser, wheat, maize, and sunflower oil production. This creates ongoing market volatility, with the hyperinflation of staple foods now present in multiple territories.

Conflict and insecurity were the direct drivers of acute food insecurity across 19 countries, with weather extremes – predicted to increase in severity and frequency in the coming years – being the primary driver in 12 countries.

Despite this global burden, the report highlights the ‘hotspot’ nature of such crises, with over 40% of the IPC Phase 3 or above population residing in just five countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Yemen. When looking at the share of food insecurity by the analysed population of each country, the findings are sobering – around half the populations of Yemen (55%), Syria (55%), Afghanistan (46%), and Pakistan (43%) were food insecure.

People in seven countries faced ‘catastrophe’ (IPC Phase 5): Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen, Afghanistan, Haiti, Nigeria, and Burkina Faso. More than half of these 376,400 people were in Somalia (214,100).

Despite these findings, the report also sheds light on possible solutions – particularly earlier intervention to reduce food gaps and to protect livelihoods, as prevention is more cost-effective than a later, crisis-oriented response. However, traditional funding cycles and the broader humanitarian and political economies often focus on the latter model, creating further challenges.

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Global Report on Food Crises 2023. Field Exchange 71, December 2023. p33. www.ennonline.net/fex/71/global-report-on-food-crises-2023

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