Global Report on Food Crises 2018

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Key messages

Acute food insecurity global estimates in 2017

• Around 124 million people in 51 countries face Crisis food insecurity or worse (equivalent of IPC/CH Phase 3 or above). They require urgent humanitarian action to save lives, protect livelihoods, and reduce hunger and malnutrition.

• The worst food crises in 2017 were in north-eastern Nigeria, Somalia, Yemen and South Sudan, where nearly 32 million people were food-insecure and in need of urgent assistance. Famine (IPC/CH Phase 5) was declared in two counties of South Sudan in February 2017. Although humanitarian assistance has thus far contributed towards preventing large-scale famines, humanitarian needs remain exceptionally high across the four countries.

• Last year’s Global Report on Food Crises identified 108 million people in Crisis food security or worse across 48 countries.

• A comparison of the 45 countries included in both editions of the Global Report on Food Crises reveals an increase of 11 million people – an 11 percent rise – in the number of food-insecure people needing urgent humanitarian action across the world.

• This rise can largely be attributed to new or intensified and protracted conflict or insecurity in countries such as Yemen, northern Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Myanmar. Persistent drought has also played a major role, causing consecutive poor harvests in countries already facing high levels of food insecurity in eastern and southern Africa.

• Levels of acute malnutrition in crisis-affected areas remain of concern; there continues to be a double burden of high acute and chronic malnutrition in protracted crises.

• The number of children and women in need of nutritional support increased between 2016 and 2017, mainly in areas affected by conflict or insecurity such as Somalia, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Yemen and northern Nigeria. Some of these countries have also experienced severe outbreaks of cholera, exacerbating levels of acute malnutrition.

Food insecurity and malnutrition: primary drivers in 2017

• Conflict and insecurity continued to be the primary drivers of food insecurity in 18 countries, where almost 74 million food-insecure people remain in need of urgent assistance. Half of these people were in countries affected by conflict or insecurity in Africa, and more than a third were in the Middle East.

• Food-insecure people in need of urgent action in countries affected by conflict or insecurity accounted for 60 percent of the total population facing Crisis food insecurity or worse across the world.

• Climate disasters – mainly drought – were also major triggers of food crises in 23 countries, with over 39 million food-insecure people in need of urgent assistance. Two thirds of these countries were in Africa, where almost 32 million people faced acute food insecurity.

International Food Policy Research Institute:

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UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

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