Blog Post

Acute Food Insecurity Expected to Rise in West Africa and the Sahel

Food insecurity is escalating in West Africa and the Sahel region, according to the latest Regional Report on Food Security and Nutrition in West Africa and the Sahel (RRSAN) from the Food Security Information Network (FSIN). Between June and August 2024, as many as 50 million people across 16 countries could face CH Phase 3 (Crisis) or above food insecurity.

This number has risen the March-May 2024 period, when approximately 35.3 million people experienced acute food insecurity. The increase is partially attributable to an increase in the population analyzed by the report—an expansion from 13 to 16 countries—as well as to the approaching June-August lean season. The coming season is projected to see the highest ever recorded acute food insecurity, in terms of both aggregate number and percentage of people in CH Phase 3 and above.

In the coming months, an additional 126.6 million people are also expected to face CH Phase 2 (stressed) food insecurity.

Intersecting shocks, including conflict, forcible population displacement, extreme weather events, systemic poverty, and economic factors, are driving rising food insecurity in the region, as they are in many other places around the globe. These shocks, which impact food availability, accessibility, and affordability, are expected to exacerbate seasonal declines in local food supplies.


Sara Gustafson is a freelance communications consultant.