COUNTRIES REQUIRING EXTERNAL ASSISTANCE FOR FOOD
FAO assesses that globally 44 countries, of which 34 are in Africa, continue to be in need of external assistance for food. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are causing wide‑ranging and severe negative impacts on food security, particularly through the loss of income. Conflicts and weather shocks remain critical factors that underpin the current high levels of severe food insecurity.
AFRICA The risks associated with outbreaks of desert locusts in East Africa still remain high, although control measures have contained impacts on crops and pastures. Cereal production in Southern Africa recovered strongly in 2020, while adverse weather resulted in a below‑average output in North Africa. Planting of the 2020 crops are ongoing in West and Central Africa, and the early production outlook is mostly favourable.
ASIA Production is set to increase to an above-average level in the Near East in 2020, partly reflecting improved security conditions and favourable weather in the Syrian Arab Republic and Iraq, and a production recovery in Turkey. Generally conducive weather conditions are expected to result in large harvests in the Far East, while area contractions in CIS countries is foreseen to result in a slightly below‑average output.
LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN Encouraged by the high prices, farmers in South America expanded plantings and are expected to gather a near-record cereal output in 2020, with conducive weather supporting good yields. In Central America and the Caribbean, periods of adverse weather conditions are foreseen to keep cereal harvests in 2020 at a near-average level.