Field Listing

Food insecurity

Food crises are nearly always due to a combination of factors, but it is important to establish whether the nature of food crises is predominantly related to lack of food availability, limited access to food, or severe but localized problems. Countries in crisis requiring external assistance for food are expected to lack the resources to deal with reported critical problems of food insecurity. Three levels of crises are described in this field in descending severity: countries facing an exceptional shortfall in aggregate food production/supplies as a result of crop failure, natural disasters, interruption of imports, disruption of distribution, excessive post-harvest losses, or other supply bottlenecks; countries with widespread lack of access, where a majority of the population is considered to be unable to procure food from local markets, due to very low incomes, exceptionally high food prices, or the inability to circulate within the country; countries with severe localized food insecurity due to the influx of refugees, a concentration of internally displaced persons, or areas with combinations of crop failure and deep poverty.

  • Afghanistan

    severe localized food insecurity: due to civil conflict, population displacement, and economic slowdown - the food security situation worsened in recent months due to the impact of COVID‑19 as informal labor opportunities and remittances declined; between November 2020 and March 2021, about 13.15 million people were estimated to be in severe acute food insecurity and to require urgent humanitarian assistance, including 8.52 million people in "Crisis" and 4.3 million people in "Emergency"; the food security of the vulnerable populations, including IDPs and the urban poor, is likely to deteriorate as curfews and restrictions on movements to contain the COVID‑19 outbreak limit the employment opportunities for casual laborers (2021)

  • Bangladesh

    severe localized food insecurity: due to economic constraints, monsoon floods, and high prices of the main staple food - food insecurity poverty levels have increased due to income losses and a decline in remittances caused by the effects of the COVID‑19 pandemic; recurrent floods throughout 2020 caused damage to the agricultural sector and destroyed houses and infrastructure, further aggravating food insecurity conditions; prices of rice, the country's main staple, reached near-record levels in most markets in January 2021, constraining access to food (2021)

  • Burkina Faso

    severe localized food insecurity: due to civil insecurity in the north - about 2.7 million people were estimated to need humanitarian assistance between June and August 2021; in the Centre-Nord and Sahel regions, insecurity continues to cause population displacements, further deteriorating the food security situation; due to the conflict, about 1.07 million people have been displaced, of which 50% live in the Centre-Nord Region (2021)

  • Burma

    severe localized food insecurity: due to conflict, political instability, and economic constraints - the political crisis, following the military takeover on 1 February 2021, resulted in increased tensions and unrest throughout the country; the current uncertain political situation may further compromise the fragile situation of vulnerable households and the Rohingya IDPs residing in the country; persisting conflicts in Rakhine, Chin, Kachin, Kayin, and Shan states have triggered large-scale population displacements particularly since 2017; income losses and a decline in remittances, due to the impact of the COVID‑19 pandemic, have affected the food security situation of vulnerable households

  • Burundi

    widespread lack of access: due to floods, and landslides - about 1.33 million people were estimated to be severely food insecure in the October‑December 2020 period, mainly due to livelihood losses caused by floods and landslides, and as a result of the socio‑economic impact of the pandemic on the livelihoods of vulnerable households; torrential rains in April 2020 triggered flooding and landslides in several areas, affecting about 45,000 people and resulting in displacements, loss of life, and damage to infrastructure (2021)

  • Cabo Verde

    severe localized food insecurity: due to lingering effects of drought - about 10,000 people (approximately 2% of the total population) were estimated to be in “Crisis” in the June‑August 2020 period; the main causes of the food insecurity are the drought and pest attacks on cereal and fodder production (2021)

  • Cameroon

    severe localized food insecurity: due to civil insecurity and population displacements - about 2.7 million people were estimated to be severely food insecure in the October‑December 2020 period, well above the previous year’s level; this is mainly the result of conflict, socio‑political unrest, flooding, and COVID‑19-related economic shocks; in the Far North Region, incursions by Boko Haram increased by 55% in 2020 compared to the previous year and triggered new population displacements (2021)

  • Central African Republic

    exceptional shortfall in aggregate food production/supplies: due to conflict and population displacements - the 2020 aggregate crop production was forecast slightly below the average of the last five years, due to the impacts of floods and persistent insecurity, coupled with the effects of the COVID‑19 pandemic; according to Food and Agriculture Organization analysis, the number of severely food insecure people was estimated at 1.9 million in the September 2020-April 2021 period, a 20% increase over the previous year; the escalation is due to persistent fighting and the upsurge of violence between armed groups that has contributed to the high level of food prices and resulted in widespread population displacements (2021)

  • Chad

    widespread lack of access: due to civil insecurity - about 1.14 million people were projected to be in “Crisis” and above in the June‑August 2021 period due to persistent insecurity in the Lac and Tibesti regions, which continues to disrupt livelihood activities and to cause population displacements; about 336,124 people were displaced due to insecurity in Lake Chad Region; COVID‑19 pandemic containment measures continue to slow down the national economy, reducing employment opportunities; this downturn has contributed to a weakening of the purchasing power of poor vulnerable households, limiting their access to food (2021)

  • Congo, Democratic Republic of the

    widespread lack of access: due to persistent civil insecurity - an estimated 19.6 million people (33% of the analyzed population) were estimated to be severely food insecure in the first part of 2021, 10% below the high figure estimated for the July‑December 2020 period; the decline is mainly attributable to a modest recovery of economic activities and improved food availability early in 2021 (2021)

  • Congo, Republic of the

    severe localized food insecurity: due to floods - the Government of Congo declared a state of humanitarian emergency on 3 November 2020, after torrential rains in the north of the country triggered flooding, causing population displacements as well as extensive crop, livestock, and fisheries losses; at the end of December, the number of flood-affected people was estimated at 168,000; prices of staple foods, particularly of cassava and bananas, increased in the first months of 2021 due to low supply (2021)

  • Djibouti

    widespread lack of access: due to floods - about 194,000 people were estimated to be severely food insecure in the January‑August 2021 period, mainly due to livelihood losses caused by floods and landslides, and as a result of the socio‑economic impact of the pandemic on the livelihoods of vulnerable households (2021)

  • Eswatini

    severe localized food insecurity: due to localized shortfalls in production and reduction in income-generating activities - between October 2020 and March 2021, an estimated 366,000 people were food insecure and in need of humanitarian assistance, above the estimate for the same period in 2019/20; the deterioration reflects localized shortfalls in cereal production, high food prices, and the loss of income-generating activities due to the COVID‑19-induced economic downturn (2021)

  • Ethiopia

    widespread lack of access: due to high food prices, floods, desert locusts, insecurity, and the impact of previous droughts - about 12.9 million people were estimated to be severely food insecure between January and June 2021; the main causes include localized crop and pasture losses due to locust infestations, high food prices, and the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on incomes and food prices; humanitarian needs have sharply increased in the Tigray Region after conflict erupted in November 2020 (2021)

  • Guinea

    severe localized food insecurity: due to localized shortfalls of cereal production - despite overall favorable food security conditions, the most vulnerable households still need external food assistance; the aggregate number of severely food insecure people was estimated at 267,000 during the lean season between June and August 2020;  it is very likely that the number of food insecure population increased with the impact of COVID‑19 (2021)

  • Haiti

    severe localized food insecurity: due to reduced agricultural production and socio political turmoil - about 4.4 million people are forecast to be facing severe acute food insecurity or to be in need of urgent food assistance in the March-June 2021 time period; the high levels of food insecurity are the result of reduced 2020 cereal output and high food prices; reduced remittances and income losses amid the COVID‑19 pandemic and socio‑political turmoil are likely to exacerbate the already poor food security situation (2021)

  • Iraq

    severe localized food insecurity: due to civil conflict, low oil prices, and economic slowdown - the 2021 Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) for Iraq identified 4.1 million people in need, of which 2.4 million have acute humanitarian needs; while the number of people in need remained similar to the previous year, the severity of those needs increased, largely due to the impact of the COVID‑19 pandemic on top of an existing humanitarian crisis, leading to a 35% increase in the number of people in acute need; more than half of these are concentrated in the governorates of Nineveh and Anbar; the number of severely food insecure people is estimated at about 435,000, while 731,000 are vulnerable to food insecurity (2021)

  • Kenya

    exceptional shortfall in aggregate food production/supplies: due to floods, desert locusts - about 850,000 people were estimated to be severely food insecure in the October‑December 2020 period, down from 3.1 million people in late 2019 due to consecutive favorable rainy seasons; by contrast, the food security situation deteriorated in urban areas, where about 1 million people were estimated to be food insecure due to the socio-economic impact of the pandemic on the livelihoods of vulnerable households (2021)

  • Korea, North

    widespread lack of access: due to low food consumption levels, poor dietary diversity, economic downturn, and floods - a large portion of the population suffers from low levels of food consumption and very poor dietary diversity; the economic constraints, particularly resulting from the global impact of the COVID‑19 pandemic, have increased the population’s vulnerability to food insecurity; floods, caused by several typhoons in August and early September 2020, affected large numbers of people in southern parts of the country (2021)

  • Lebanon

    exceptional shortfall in aggregate food production/supplies:

    due to the ongoing financial and economic crisis - in August 2020, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia estimated that more than 55% of the population lived in poverty, up from 28% in 2019; current figures are likely to be higher due to a fall in households' purchasing power; the already worrisome economic conditions, with increasing unemployment, poverty, and skyrocketing inflation rates, have further worsened due to the COVID‑19 pandemic and the measures introduced to contain the spread of the disease

    (2021)

  • Lesotho

    severe localized food insecurity:

    due to localized shortfalls in production and loss of income-generating activities - between October 2020 and March 2021, an estimated 582,000 people were facing acute food insecurity, 10% higher than the corresponding period in 2019/20; the deterioration reflects high food prices and the loss of income‑generating activities due to the economic downturn instigated by the COVID‑19 pandemic

    (2021)

  • Liberia

    Severe localized food insecurity: due to high food prices: about 550,000 people were estimated to be in “Crisis” in the June‑August 2021 period due high food prices, including rice, which is mostly imported, and a significant increase in overall inflation (2021)

  • Libya

    severe localized food insecurity: due to civil insecurity, economic and political instability, and high food prices - an estimated 1.3 million people (23% of the population) are in need of humanitarian assistance of which 700,000 require food assistance; half of the people in need of humanitarian assistance are internally displaced or migrants that are residing in, or transiting through, the country (2021)

  • Madagascar

    severe localized food insecurity: due to drought in southern areas and limited income-earning opportunities - an estimated 1.35 million people are food insecure in southern and southeastern regions and require urgent humanitarian assistance at least up until April 2021; the poor conditions are also reflected in high rates of acute malnutrition among children in these regions; the impact of the COVID‑19 pandemic, particularly the loss of incomes due to the economic slowdown, successive below-average cereal outputs, and the effects of a prevailing drought in 2021 are the key causes of food insecurity (2021)

  • Malawi

    severe localized food insecurity: due to localized production shortfalls and economic slowdown - an estimated 2.62 million people were assessed to be food insecure between October 2020 and March 2021, of which 2 million live in rural areas and the remaining 600,000 in urban areas; despite the upturn in cereal production in 2020, the effects of the COVID‑19 pandemic curtailed access to food through income losses, which sustained the high levels of food insecurity (2021)

  • Mali

    severe localized food insecurity:

    due to civil insecurity, floods, and pest infestations - about 1.3 million people were estimated to need external food assistance during the June‑August 2020 period, well above the 554,000 food insecure people that were estimated for the same period in 2019; the deterioration of the situation was based on the effects of adverse climate events (late onset of rains, drought, and flooding) in some localized areas and the persistent insecurity in the central and northern parts of the country; the current situation is made worse by the impact of the COVID‑19 pandemic, including the containment measures that adversely affected households’ livelihoods and incomes; periods of heavy rains resulted in localized flooding in August and September 2020 causing human casualties, loss of livelihoods, and damage to crops, livestock and infrastructures; localized outbreaks of Fall Army worms and desert locusts were reported across most areas of the country, while grain‑eating birds affected crops

    (2021)

  • Mauritania

    severe localized food insecurity: due to poor performance of pastoral cropping season - according to a March 2020 analysis, about 609,000 people were estimated to be in need of food assistance during the lean season between June and August 2020; pastoral households, affected by recurrent shocks during the last years, are facing the highest prevalence of food insecurity (2021)

  • Morocco

    note:  data does not include former Western Sahara

  • Mozambique

    severe localized food insecurity:

    due to economic downturn, localized shortfalls in staple food production, and insecurity in northern areas - an estimated 2.9 million people require urgent humanitarian assistance, at least up until March 2021, reflecting the adverse impacts of income losses associated with the pandemic-induced economic downturn and shortfalls in staple food production in the southern regions; continued insecurity in the northern areas has also severely aggravated conditions and led to large population displacements

    (2021)

  • Namibia

    severe localized food insecurity: due to localized shortfalls in staple food production and economic slowdown - about 441,000 people were estimated to be food insecure and in need of humanitarian assistance between October 2020 and March 2021; although the availability of food is adequate and stable, the negative effects of the COVID‑19 pandemic, primarily income and job losses, have constrained households’ access to food (2021)

  • Niger

    widespread lack of access: due to civil conflict - according to a November 2020 analysis, the aggregate number of severely food insecure people in “Crisis” was estimated at about 1.2 million people during the October‑December 2020 period, including about 61,000 people in severe food insecurity; in recent months, an increase in security incidents continued to cause large population displacements in Diffa, Tillaberi, and Tahoua regions; the resulting widespread disruption of agricultural and marketing activities, diminished the livelihood opportunities of households and their food security (2021)

  • Nigeria

    widespread lack of access: due to persistent civil conflict in the northern areas - according to an October 2020 analysis, about 9.8 million people were estimated to be in need of external food assistance from October to December 2020, a significant increase from the estimated 4 million people in same months in 2019; the higher prevalence of food insecurity mainly reflected the adverse effects of measures to contain the COVID‑19 pandemic on the supply chain, the escalation of armed and community conflicts, some localized cereal production shortfalls in 2020, the unfavorable macro‑economic conditions, and high food prices; the areas most affected by food insecurity are Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states (2021)

  • Pakistan

    severe localized food insecurity: due to population displacements, economic constraints - the main causes of food insecurity in the country are limited livelihood opportunities, high food prices, and recurrent natural disasters, amplified by the COVID‑19 pandemic; severe floods in August 2020 in Sindh Province affected the livelihoods of about 2 million people and caused severe damage to housing and infrastructure; in addition, the prices of wheat flour and other important food items, such as milk, onion, and chicken meat, have been at high levels since the beginning of 2020, constraining access to food of the most vulnerable households; Pakistan hosts large numbers of registered and unregistered Afghan refugees; most of these people are in need of humanitarian assistance and are straining the already limited resources of the host communities; poverty levels have increased due to losses of income-generating opportunities (2021)

  • Senegal

    severe localized food insecurity: due to localized shortfalls in cereal production - despite the overall satisfactory food security situation, pockets of food insecurity remain and food assistance is needed by the most vulnerable population; prior to the COVID‑19 outbreak, the number of food insecure people was projected to peak at about 766,000 during the lean season between June and August 2020, well above the 341,000 food insecure people that were estimated in the same period of 2019; the situation is worse than previously expected, in part, due to the impact from the COVID‑19 pandemic, including the containment measures that adversely effected households’ livelihood activities and incomes (2021)

  • Sierra Leone

    severe localized food insecurity: due to high food prices - according to a March 2020 analysis, about 1 million people were estimated to need food assistance from March to May 2020; this number was expected to increase during the lean period from June to August 2020, if no mitigation actions were taken (2021)

  • Somalia

    exceptional shortfall in aggregate food production/supplies: due to floods, civil insecurity, desert locusts - about 1.6 million people were estimated to be in need of emergency assistance in the January‑March 2021 period; since late 2019, the food security situation has been affected by several negative factors, including the desert locust outbreak, widespread floods, and the COVID‑19 pandemic; the negative impact of these shocks has been amplified by reduced household resilience due to insecurity and the lingering impact of previous droughts and floods; in particular, the COVID‑19 pandemic is affecting the food security situation mainly through: movement restrictions within the country resulting in reduced market availability; increasing prices of food and reduced labor opportunities, especially in urban areas; reduced economic activity and containment measures in countries with large Somali diaspora populations causing a sharp decline in remittances; reduced exports of livestock to Saudi Arabia caused by the suspension of the Hajj pilgrimage (2021)

  • South Sudan

    widespread lack of access: due to economic downturn, civil insecurity, floods, lingering impact of prolonged conflict - despite sustained humanitarian assistance, food insecurity still affects large segments of the population, driven by insufficient food supplies, an economic downturn, high food prices, widespread floods, and the negative impact of restrictive measures related to the COVID‑19 pandemic; about 5.82 million people (48% of the total population) were estimated to be severely food insecure in the December 2020‑March 2021 period; since early 2021, the seasonal deterioration of the food security situation has been compounded by the severe livelihood losses in the central and eastern areas affected by floods in mid‑ and late- 2020, the lingering impact of the prolonged conflict, the COVID‑19 pandemic, and the ongoing economic crisis; particular concern exists for Jonglei State and the neighboring Pibor Administrative Area, where 78% of the population is estimated to be severely food insecure and 11,000 individuals are facing “Catastrophe” levels, after two consecutive years of widespread flooding resulting in severe livelihood losses (2021)

  • Sudan

    severe localized food insecurity: due to conflict, civil insecurity, floods, and soaring food prices - the number of severely food insecure people was estimated at 7.1 million in the October-December 2020 period; late‑season rains in August and September 2020 triggered widespread floods that resulted in losses of standing crops; the late‑season heavy rains favored the spread of diseases, weeds, and pests, which further constrained crop yields; in March 2020, prices of sorghum, millet, and wheat grain were at record levels and between two to three times above the already high levels a year earlier, mainly due to a weak local currency and tight supplies, coupled with fuel shortages and high prices of agricultural inputs that increased production and transportation costs (2021)

  • Syria

    exceptional shortfall in aggregate food production/supplies: due to civil conflict and a stagnant economy - a nationwide food security assessment estimates that about 12.4 million people (60% of the overall population) are now food insecure, 5.4 million more than at the end of 2019, mostly due to constrained livelihood opportunities and a rapidly worsening economy; although some international food assistance is being provided, Syrian refugees are also pressuring host communities' resources in neighboring countries (2021)

  • Tanzania

    severe localized food insecurity: due to floods and refugee influx - about 499,000 people were estimated to be in need of emergency assistance in the May-September 2020 period, mainly in northeastern Manyara and Kilimanjaro regions and in central Dodoma and Singida regions, where 2019 harvests were affected by prolonged dry spells that resulted in significant cereal production losses; heavy rains triggered floods in March and April 2020 in northern Mwanza, Simiyu, Mara, and Kagera regions, in western Rukwa, Katavi, and Kigoma regions, in eastern Manyara Province, and in southern Morogoro Region, which resulted in population displacements and localized damage to crops (2021)

  • Uganda

    widespread lack of access: due to floods and refugee influx - the number of severely food insecure people was estimated at 2 million in the September 2020-January 2021 period in Karamoja Region, urban areas, refugee settlements, and host communities; in traditionally food secure urban areas, including the capital, Kampala, more than 600,000 people are food insecure due to the restrictive measures introduced to curb the spread of the COVID‑19 virus; torrential rains triggered flooding in September and October near Lake Albert and Lake Kyoga; in addition, landslides occurred in mountain areas of eastern Mbale, southern Kisoro, and western Bunyangabo districts; floods and landslides affected about 16,500 people and caused losses of lives, damage to infrastructure, and localized crop losses (2021)

  • Venezuela

    widespread lack of access: due to severe economic crisis - the total number of refugees and migrants from the country is estimated at 5.4 million, with the largest populations located in Colombia, Peru, and Chile; humanitarian needs for refugees and migrants are significant; food insecurity situations of migrants reportedly worsened in 2020 due to losses of income-generating opportunities in the host countries amid the COVID‑19 pandemic; the expected slow recovery of the host countries’ economies is likely to only marginally restore livelihoods of migrants; according to World Food Program’s food security assessment, conducted in the third quarter of 2019, about 2.3 million people in the country (8% of the total population) were severely food insecure, mainly as a result of high food prices (2021)

  • Yemen

    widespread lack of access: due to conflict, poverty, floods, high food and fuel prices - between January and June 2021, the number of food insecure was projected to increase by nearly 3 million to 16.2 million people; out of these, an estimated 11 million people will likely be in "Crisis," 5 million in "Emergency," and the number of those in "Catastrophe" will likely increase to 47,000; internal conflict continues to compromise all economic activities, including agriculture; the conflict is further hampering already constrained livelihood activities and humanitarian access; income earning opportunities have declined due to COVID‑19‑related business disruptions; although no physical shortages of goods are reported, the high prices severely limit households’ access; fuel prices remained over 250% above February 2015 levels; humanitarian funding significantly reduced in 2020 resulting in many operations being scaled down leaving the needs of millions of people unattended (2021)

  • Zambia

    severe localized food insecurity: due to localized shortfalls in cereal production - the effects of the COVID‑19 pandemic aggravated food insecurity across the country and its impacts have kept the number of people in need of assistance at similar levels to 2019/20, despite the larger cereal output in 2020 and lower prices; an estimated 2 million people were in need of assistance between October 2020 and March 2021 (2021)

  • Zimbabwe

    exceptional shortfall in aggregate food production/supplies: due to a below-average cereal harvest, high food prices, and an economic downturn - an estimated 3.38 million people were in need of urgent humanitarian assistance until the end of March 2021, primarily due to reduced agricultural output in 2020, significantly higher food prices, and income losses due to the effects of the economic downturn (2021)