By: Sara Gustafson
In 2019, as many as 135 million people across 55 countries required urgent food, nutrition, and livelihood assistance, according to the 2020 Global Report on Food Crises . This was the highest global number of acutely food-insecure people on record. The GRFC’s mid-year update , released in early October, takes a look at recent data for 26 of those countries (plus Togo) and specifically examines the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hunger continues to be on the rise in Africa south of the Sahara, according to the 2020 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) Report , released in mid-July.
An estimated 73 million people in Africa faced acute levels of hunger and food insecurity in 2019, according to the 2020 Global Report on Food Crises, released this week. The continent accounted for 54 percent of the global total of severely food-insecure people. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread around the world, developing countries in the region will likely see even further disruptions to food access. These disruptions will compound existing food crises and potentially create new ones.
Since mid-2018, conflict in the Liptako-Gourma region, the border connecting western Niger, northern and eastern Burkina Faso, and central and northeastern Mali, has displaced almost 700,000 people and caused massive disruptions to market functioning and livelihoods, according to a recent alert from FEWS Net . These disruptions are expected to continue to drive urgent humanitarian needs through the rest of 2020.
Several countries in Africa south of the Sahara faced the threat of famine and high food assistance needs in 2017, and FEWS Net is reporting that little change is expected in the coming year .