In May 2021, The Global Network Against Food Crises (GNAFC) released the sixth edition of the Global Report on Food Crises (GRFC). The report provides an overview of global food crises, strives to identify its causes, and attempts a forecast for the next year.
GNAFC is a global coalition working to address the root causes of extreme hunger. The European Union, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, and the World Food Programme founded the Global Network Against Food Crises at the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit.
GRFC 2021 in a Nutshell
The Global Report on Food Crises highlights that the 2021 edition's figures are the highest in the report's five-year history.
The report categorizes the situation of food insecurity into five IPC/CH Phases:
- Phase-1: Minimal
- Phase-2: Stressed
- Phase-3: Crisis
- Phase-4: Emergency
- Phase-5: Catastrophe/Famine
Findings of GFRC 2021
Following are the key findings of GFRC 2021:
- In 2020, there were around 20 million more people in the Crisis phase or worse than in 2019.
- In total, 134.7 million people were living in conditions above the Crisis phase or higher in 55 countries.
- Nearly 21% of individuals polled in 2020 were in the Crisis phase or worse, up from 16.5 per cent in 2019.
- 15.8 million of the world's 47 million hungry children were from these 55 countries.
- Seventy-five million of the world's 144 million stunted children were from these 55 countries.
- In 2020, around 133,000 people in Burkina Faso, South Sudan, and Yemen were living in Catastrophe.
- In 2020, 208 million people were living in the Stressed phase in 43 countries.
- 28.4 million people were living in the Emergency phase or worse.
- In six countries, more than 10% of the population were in the Emergency phase or higher.
- In 2020, Africa was affected the most by food crises. It had over 63% of the global total number of people in the Crisis phase or Worse, vis--vis 54% in 2019.
- In the ten worst food crises, almost 103 million people were in the Crisis phase or worse, accounting for 66 per cent of the total.
- In food-crisis countries, women and children were particularly vulnerable to malnutrition.
- Approximately 30 million of the world's 46 million internally displaced people were from eight countries suffering from acute food crises.
- Three countries suffering from acute food crises have resulted in more than a third of the world's 30.5 million refugees.
To sum up, the sixth edition of the Global Report on Food Crises looks bleak and demands action. The number of people experiencing severe food insecurity and in need of immediate food, nutrition, and livelihood assistance is increasing.
To attain the ambitious SDG 2 of Zero Hunger, global food production and distribution systems shall be made more inclusive, robust, and sustainable.
"In the twenty-first century, famine and hunger have no place. If we all work together, we can put an end to hunger" (Antonio Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations).
FAQs on GRFC
Q.1. Which Organisation has released the GRFC report?
The Global Report on Food Crises is the flagship publication of the Global Network and is facilitated by the Food Security Information Network (FSIN).
Q.2. What role does the weather play in throwing people into food insecurity in GRFC?
According to GRFC, low rainfall and other adverse weather occurrences exacerbate acute food insecurity in several nations.
Dry weather in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia, combined with the threat of desert locust infestations, could lead to:
- Poor harvest
- Poor livestock production
- Low income for farmers
- Limited food consumption
- Fight for resources
- Driving up cereal prices in many parts of Africa.
Moreover, as a result of the La Nina climate phenomena, dry weather occurred in Iraq and Afghanistan in early 2021, driving hundreds of thousands of people into a food crisis.
Q.3.What is the GRFC forecast for 2021?
The Global Report on Food Crises made the following predictions for 2021:
- Around 142 million people will be in Crisis or worse in 40 of the 55 countries/territories covered by the GRFC 2021.
- By mid-2021, around 155 000 people will face the Catastrophe phase in South Sudan and Yemen.
- In 2021, approximately 97 million people will be in the Crisis phase or eight of the ten countries with the greatest food crises in 2020.
Q.4. What are the reasons identified by the GRFC contributing to severe food insecurity in 2020?
For 2020, Global Report on Food Crises identified three major drivers of severe food insecurity:
- Conflict or war-related insecurity
- Weather extremes
- Economic shocks, particularly COVID-19-related economic ramifications.