Global report on food crises 2019

Global report on food crises 2019
Apr 2019

This year’s Global Report on Food Crises highlights the plight of millions of people who must fight every day against acute hunger and malnutrition. More than 113 million people across 53 countries experienced acute hunger requiring urgent food, nutrition and livelihoods assistance (IPC/CH Phase 3 or above) in 2018.

The worst food crises in 2018, in order of severity, were: Yemen, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, the Syrian Arab Republic, the Sudan, South Sudan and northern Nigeria. These eight countries accounted for two thirds of the total number of people facing acute food insecurity – amounting to nearly 72 million people.

The figure of 113 million people represents a slight improvement over the number for 2017 presented in last year’s report, in which an estimated 124 million people in 51 countries faced acute hunger. Despite the slight decrease, over the past three years, the report has consistently shown that, year on year, more than 100 million people (2016, 2017 and 2018) have faced periods of acute hunger. The modest decrease between 2017 and 2018 is largely attributed to changes in climate shocks.

A number of highly exposed countries did not experience the intensity of climate-related shocks and stressors that they had experienced in 2017 when they variously faced severe drought, flooding, erratic rains and temperature rises brought on by the El Niño of 2015-16. These include countries in southern and eastern Africa, the Horn of Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Asia-Pacific region. An additional 143 million people in a subset of 42 countries were found to be living in Stressed conditions on the cusp of acute hunger (IPC/CH Phase 2). They risked slipping into Crisis or worse (IPC/CH Phase 3 or above) if faced with a shock or stressor.

High levels of acute and chronic malnutrition in children living in emergency conditions remained of grave concern. The immediate drivers of undernutrition include poor dietary intake and disease. Mothers and caregivers often face challenges in providing children with the key micronutrients they need at critical growth periods in food crises. This is reflected in the dismally low number of children consuming a minimum acceptable diet in most of the countries profiled in this report.