The Horn of Africa continues to face severe food insecurity, reduced livelihoods, and hunger-related deaths as a result of several years of drought and failed harvests, according to FEWS Net. The hardest hit regions include Somalia, Sudan, the arid and semi-arid regions of Kenya, and southern and southeastern Ethiopia. The situation has been further exacerbated in Sudan and Ethiopia by ongoing conflict.
The number of people facing hunger around the world has increased by more than 122 million from 2019, according to the newly released annual State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) report, , a joint publication by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), UNICEF, World Food Programme, and World Health Organization (WHO).
While the record-breaking drought of 2020-2023 has eased and conflict in the region has largely ended, Ethiopia remains in need of significant humanitarian and food aid, according to a May report from FEWS Net. Populations in the northern Tigray region and the southeastern Oromia and Somalia regions continue to experience IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) and Phase 4 (Emergency) food insecurity, which could worsen even further in the upcoming lean season.
The impact of Russia-Ukraine Conflict on Food and Nutrition Security in Africa: A Call for a More Resilient African Food System
In February 2022, war erupted between Russia and Ukraine. These two countries account for about 12 percent of the total calories traded in the world, raising serious concerns about the implications for global food security. Although it is too early to draw a conclusion regarding the world’s capacity to absorb these stressors, past trends, early macroeconomic impacts, and policy responses can provide a glimpse of possible impacts.
An estimated 360,000 people in northern Burkina Faso are suffering extreme and worsening food insecurity and malnutrition, according to a recent alert from FEWS Net. While the risk of famine (IPC Phase 5) in the region is not a foregone conclusion, FEWS Net has determined that such a risk is possible through September 2023.