The world’s urgent humanitarian assistance needs continued to grow in 2017, according to the 2018 Global Report on Food Crises. An estimated 124 million people across 51 countries currently face crisis-level or worse food insecurity, up from 104 million people across 48 countries in 2016.

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The world will continue to face major challenges from political and economic uncertainty, conflict, and climate change in 2018 and beyond, and the rising trend of anti-globalization in some developed countries could hamper the ability of policymakers to respond to these challenges. The result could be slowed progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and food and nutrition security, especially in developing countries.

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The latest version of FAO’s Monthly Report on Food Price Trends (FPMA) was recently released. The February report shows global cereal prices have increased overall since the start of 2018.

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The food system represents a vital economic sector, making up the largest source of employment (both self-employment and wage employment) in many developing countries. This system extends far beyond farm production to include a wide range of activities, including food processing, transportation, and retail.

The FAO Crop Prospects and Food Situation Report for the last quarter of 2017 reports that 37 countries remain in need of food assistance. Twenty-nine of those countries are in Africa, seven are in Asia, and one is in Latin America and the Caribbean. Persistent conflict coupled with weather shocks resulting in production shortfalls are behind most of these needs. All of these factors have limited food access and availability in the affected countries, in some cases severely.

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This piece was originally posted on the IFPRI.org blog
BY ROB VOS, EUGENIO DIAZ-BONILLA, DAVID LABORDE AND VALERIA PIÑEIRO, IFPRI

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According to the recently released 2017 Global Nutrition Report, the world continues to face a serious threat from multiple forms of malnutrition, including undernutrition, overnutrition, and micronutrient deficiency.

The October edition of the USDA's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate (WASDE) report Released monthly, this report provides data on global and US production and trade of staple commodities, including wheat, coarse grains, rice, and oilseeds.

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The October edition of the FAO GIEWS Food Price Monitoring and Analysis (FPMA) Bulletin finds mixed trends in international cereal prices. The global price of wheat rose by 6 percent in September, due in large part to weather-related concerns in the US, Australia, and Argentina. This places wheat prices 14 percent above their September 2016 levels; however, abundant global supplies and strong export competition have worked to limit the price increase.

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The 2017 Global Hunger Index (GHI), released today, reports that between 2000 and 2016, hunger levels around the world declined by 27 percent. While impressive, however, this progress should not mask the remaining food security challenges faced at the global, national, and sub-national levels. In 2017, South Sudan declared a state of famine – the first instance of famine in the world in six years.

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