Acute food insecurity surges worldwide

Diana Estefanía Rubio

Acute food insecurity surges worldwide

In 2023, 281.6 million people, or 21.5% of people in 59 food-crisis countries, faced high acute food insecurity, nearly 24 million more than in 2022.

Conflict and insecurity, the implications of climate change, and economic shocks were the primary drivers of this spike. In 2023, food crises escalated at an alarming rate in conflict hotspots—notably the Gaza Strip and Sudan. Gaza became the most severe food crisis in the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) and the Global Report on Food Crisis (GRFC) history.

Read more: Starvation as a weapon of war: An all too familiar horror in history

A drop in global food prices did not reach low-income, import-dependent countries, where huge public debt meant that governments could do little to offset the high costs. These countries—especially those with weak currencies—are still grappling with high food prices and weak household purchasing power.

Cuts to humanitarian funding pose a further threat, reducing the food assistance to many food-insecure populations.

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