Global Food Security Update, May 2023

  • The global food crisis has continued to worsen, with 257.8 million people in GRFC countries and territories facing acute food insecurity in 2022.
  • Conflict and insecurity are the main drivers of this increase, with 53.2 million internally displaced people and 301,100 people in Somalia and South Sudan in a state of Catastrophe.
  • East Africa is particularly affected, with 56.85 million people in eight countries (Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda) in Crisis or worse.
  • In response to food inflation and shortages, countries should avoid export bans and restrictions on food and agricultural goods and instead provide flexibility in sources of food, feed, and agricultural inputs. Enhanced agricultural productivity growth can narrow the yield gap.
  • Africa is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of the conflict in Sudan, with up to 41% of the population struggling to find one meal per day. The WFP has called for $162.4 million in funding to support 2.3 million people in urgent need of food assistance in Chad.
  • East and Southern Africa are projected to have the highest levels of food insecurity by October 2023. This is attributed to COVID-19, increasing conflict, climate variability and change, and macroeconomic crises, exacerbated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
  • In Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda, it is estimated that 11.7 million children under the age of 5 were wasted by the end of 2022, with 2.8 million severely wasted. Across the region, the most wasted children under the age of 5 were in Ethiopia (4.8 million, 1.21 million severely wasted), Sudan (2.8 million, 0.56 million severely wasted), Somalia (1.48 million, 0.36 million severely wasted), and South Sudan (1.4 million, 0.35 million severely wasted).
  • In the Horn of Africa, acute malnutrition has worsened significantly since 2021, with very high levels of wasting. In Ethiopia, data from most of the woredas in the Somali and Oromia regions reported proxy global acute malnutrition levels of greater than 15 percent.
  • In Somalia, median wasting prevalence was 15.9 percent and exceeded 25 percent in several areas.
  • In Kenya, arid and semi-arid counties reported a wasting prevalence of greater than 15 percent.
  • The nutrition situation in South Sudan and Sudan continues to be dire, with the wasting of more than 15 percent of the population in conflict-affected areas in South Sudan.
  • The global food crisis is worsening, with millions of people in need of multiple rounds of assistance.
  • In West and Central Africa, seasonal weather forecasts indicate a favorable agricultural season, but insecurity and violence are limiting access to pasture.
  • As of March 13, 2023, 21 countries had implemented 27 food export bans, and 10 had implemented 14 export-limiting measures.
  • Inflation is expected to be high in 2022, with prices increasing by 3.2% annually. It is expected to decrease in 2023, but remain high compared to pre-crisis levels.

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