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FAO: 155 million people experienced high levels of food insecurity in 2020

Among the 10 countries with the worst food crises in 2020 were the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Yemen, Sudan, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and Haiti.

In its latest annual Global Report on Food Crises, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations notes that 155 million people in 2020 experienced high levels of food insecurity, an increase of about 20 million people compared to the previous report.

FAO Emergency and Resilience Director
“This report tells us that conflict remains the number one driver of acute hunger. As a matter of fact, 99 million people were facing acute food insecurity in 23 countries and territories where conflict and insecurity were the primary drivers. Conflict was followed by economic shocks.”

Climate disruptions and weather extremes like droughts, floods and hurricanes were the third most significant drivers of acute hunger in 2020. Farmers in different parts of the world lost their crops, livestock and livelihoods.

The FAO is focusing its resources on preventing widespread famine in 2021. This means working side by side with rural populations so they can “continue to produce and access food,” explains Dominique Burgeon.

FAO Emergency and Resilience Director
“We know from experience that even in difficult crises contexts, it is possible to help people produce food that keeps them alive. We know that no matter what, no matter the situation they are in, farmers are farmers and they will try to keep farming, even in the most difficult circumstances. Our goal therefore is to help them farming.”

The FAO is also asking the international community for support to reverse this trend of rising food insecurity.