Report shows global food insecurity remains key EU challenge

Report shows global food insecurity remains key EU challenge
European Commissioner Neven Mimica © Dutch Government/Martijn Beekman

The EU’s Global Report on Food Crises shows that while major famines were averted in 2017, global food insecurity remains a key challenge.

The report shows that in 2017, almost 124m people faced levels of acute food insecurity or worse, and also warns that food crises are likely to become increasingly more complex, acute and persistent. This is for a number reasons, but significant factors contributing to global food insecurity include:

  • Conflict;
  • Extreme climatic events;
  • Staple foods increasing in price; and
  • Different combinations of these factors.

In particular, four countries were judged to be at risk of suffering major famine in 2017, thanks to food insecurity caused by these factors. The countries most at risk of famine were:

  • Yemen;
  • Somalia;
  • South Sudan; and
  • Nigeria.

While major famines in these areas were avoided in 2017, they remain at risk in 2018, and will require continued EU development aid to continue to reduce their vulnerability and improve food security.

What help has the EU offered?

Recognising emerging global food insecurity in 2017, the EU allocated more than €750m to joint humanitarian and development support to tackle four major food crises. It mobilised a further €1bn in funding from member states.

The report was prepared by the EU’s Food Security Information Network, in collaboration with the EU-Joint Research Centre, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, UNICEF and others. It was designed to allow these organisations to more strategically plan to strengthen resilience and attempt to prevent further food crises.

European Commissioner Neven Mimica, who presented the report today in Rome, Italy, said that the work of the report was crucial to efforts to combat global food insecurity.

He said: “In 2017, the Global Report on Food Crises alerted us about the risk of famines in a number of partner countries. Thanks to local and international efforts, including in the most critical hotspots, we were able to avert major famines. But let us be clear: we still have huge challenges ahead of us, and the EU will continue to work relentlessly for food security around the world.”


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