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FOOD ASSISTANCE NEEDS GROW AS PANDEMIC HITS INCOMES

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.

FAO assesses that globally 44 countries, of which 34 are in Africa, continue to be in need of external assistance for food. Agricultural droughts have aggravated food insecurity conditions, due to reduced harvests that also caused price hikes. Conflict driven crises continued to be the primary cause of the high levels of severe food insecurity.

This report is part of FAO’s efforts to systematically link early warnings to anticipatory actions. By providing specific early action recommendations for each country, the report aims to prompt FAO and partners to proactively mitigate and/or prevent disasters before they start to adversely impact food security.
In order of intensity, for the period January–March 2020, the high risk section includes:

  • Burkina Faso, Mali and the Niger
  • Zimbabwe
  • South Sudan
  • Haiti
  • Cabo Verde, the Gambia, Mauritania and Senegal
  • Yemen
  • Nigeria
  • Desert Locust outbreak
  • African swine fever outbreak in Asia

COUNTRIES REQUIRING EXTERNAL ASSISTANCE FOR FOOD
FAO assesses that globally 42 countries, of which 32 are in Africa, continue to be in need of external assistance for food. Conflict‑driven crises are the main cause of the high levels of severe food insecurity. Additionally, agricultural droughts and floods have sharply reduced harvests and contributed to abrupt spikes in food prices significantly aggravating food insecurity.

Regional Highlights
AFRICA
Floods and earlier severe dryness in East Africa cut harvest expectations for the 2019 cereal crops, while similarly adverse weather conditions caused a steep production decline in Southern Africa, where planting of the 2020 crops is underway. Average outputs are estimated in North Africa and Central Africa.
ASIA
Improved security contributed to a production increase in the Syrian Arab Republic in 2019, while conducive weather supported harvest upturns across the Near East. A record‑high wheat output in India helped maintain an above‑average subregional cereal output in the Far East. In CIS Asia, a reduced harvest in Kazakhstan was offset by production upturns elsewhere.
LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN
Record cereal harvest estimated in South America in 2019, due to bumper outputs in Argentina and Brazil. In Central America and the Caribbean, unfavourable weather reduced harvests in most countries of the subregion.

The Early Warning Early Action (EWEA) Report on Food Security and Agriculture is developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). It provides a quarterly forward-looking analysis of major disaster risks to food security and agriculture, specifically highlighting:
- potential new emergencies resulting from imminent disaster threats
- new developments in countries already affected by protracted crises which are likely to cause a further deterioration of food insecurity.
This report is part of FAO’s efforts to systematically link early warnings to anticipatory actions. By providing specific early action recommendations for each country, the report aims to prompt FAO and partners to proactively mitigate and/or prevent disasters before they start to adversely impact food security.
In order of intensity, for the period October-December 2019, the high risk section includes:

  • Burkina Faso, Mali and the Niger
  • South Sudan
  • Yemen
  • Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
  • Cabo Verde, the Gambia, Mauritania and Senegal
  • Zimbabwe
  • African swine fever outbreak in Asia
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