Ghana - 2020 Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis (CFSVA)


Executive Summary

Food security is a fundamental aspect of human and social development. Per the 1999 World Food Summit working definition, food security describes a situation in which “all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.”

However, the complexity of food security as a phenomenon resulting from multiple drivers – including food availability, accessibility, affordability, and the stability of all the aforementioned – poses significant challenges for assessment.

WFP has been at the forefront of efforts in Ghana, Africa, and across the world to define robust methodologies for assessing food security, perform food security surveys, and provide stakeholders with policy-actionable evidence-based analysis.

This 2020 CFSVA report is the most comprehensive food security assessment yet undertaken in Ghana by GSS and MoFA, with technical and financial support from WFP and FAO.

The three overarching objectives of the 2020 CFSVA are to:

  1. Identify where, when, and who Ghana’s food insecure are, as the basis for remedial policy action to tackle food insecurity, including targeting of Food and Nutrition Security (FNS) social protection programmes, and building disaster preparedness and response capabilities

  2. Initiate preliminary analysis on the unprecedented dataset generated by the CFSVA to investigate explanations of food insecurity outcomes – nationally and regionally – as the basis for adapting preventive policy actions that address root causes, including monitoring and ‘early warning systems,’ enhancement of food and marketing systems, livelihood promotion and infrastructure development

  3. Evaluate key thematic issues in the contemporary context, including the impact of COVID-19 and other shocks, and the impact of food insecurity on women empowerment and child nutrition.

These objectives have been fulfilled under the 2020 Ghana CFSVA through a householdlevel assessment of food security in Ghana’s 260 administrative districts across four spatial dimensions: urban/rural (“residence”), administrative region (16 regions), ecological zone (seven zones) and livelihood zone (13 zones).

The study interviewed 67,140 household heads across 4,476 sample points or Enumeration Areas (EAs) from the 260 districts. Per the 2020 CFSVA, food insecurity in Ghana stands at 11.7 percent, implying a food insecure population of 3.6 million people.

Out of the 3.6 million implied food insecure people in the country, the results of the study suggest that 5.2 percent – an implied 1.6 million people – are severely food insecure, and 6.5 percent – an implied 2 million people – are moderately food insecure.

Of Ghana’s 3.6 million implied food insecure people, 78 percent – an implied 2.8 million people – are located in rural areas, and 22 percent – an implied 0.8 million people – are located in urban areas. The results also show that 18.2 percent of Ghana’s rural population are food insecure, of which 7.3 percent are severely food insecure and 10.9 percent are moderately food insecure. The findings further show that 5.5 percent of Ghana’s urban population are food insecure, of which 3.2 percent are severely food insecure and 2.3 percent are moderately food insecure.

On a regional basis, food insecurity is a truly national challenge, with all regions except one (Oti) having an implied food insecure population in excess of 100,000. Most of Ghana’s food insecure live in the Guinea Savannah and Deciduous Forest zones, with pockets of food insecurity across the other zones. According to the findings, 18 percent are located in the Upper East region; 17 percent in the Northern region; and 13 percent in the Ashanti region. The region with the highest prevalence of food insecurity is Upper East, with a rate of 49 percent. Two other regions – North-East and Northern – have food insecurity prevalence rates exceeding 30 percent (33