In April of this year, it was reported that the WFP World Food Program (UN WFP) would cut food distribution to refugees and internally displaced persons in South Sudan due to a significant lack of funds. Food ration cuts will affect nearly 700,000 refugees and internally displaced persons, with rations of 70% to 50%. In the case of full ration, it was 2,100 kcal per person, and in the case of 50%, it was 1,050 kcal, which was shocking. (WFP/Marco Frattini, Child eating PlumpySup to treat moderate acute malnutrition=MAM)


Food insecurity in South Sudan is surprisingly high. According to the latest Comprehensive Food Security Level Classification (IPC) assessment, 7.24 million people face severe acute hunger and 1.4 million children are acutely malnourished during peak crop yield declines in July. The United Nations WFP warns it.


On the other hand, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and WFP warned in April this year that the food security situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is still severe. According to IPC analysis, it is estimated that 27.3 million people, one in three, and about 7 million people are suffering from urgent levels of acute hunger (IPC 4). This has made the DRC the country with the highest number of people in urgent need for food security assistance.


Conflict is the main cause of hunger, with the widespread eastern Ituri, North-South-Kivu, and Tanganyika affected, and it is said that it has received the most devastating state of Kasai, where the recent conflict took place. The decline in the DRC economy and the socio-economic impact of the new coronavirus are also factors that exacerbate the crisis. 


Most affected are displaced persons, refugees, returnees, host families, people affected by natural disasters (floods, landslides, fire), and households headed by women. In addition, the poorest people living in and around cities and inland people with low purchasing power and no access to food through the market will be added.


In addition, food shortages are becoming more serious in Kenya as well. The UN WFP warned in April that more than 435,000 refugees in Kenya are facing imminent hunger. They noted that 40,000 refugees living in the northwestern Carobay district were at risk of initial damage.


The United Nations WFP released the latest report at the end of July, as support was sought without waiting. They warned that in some countries support for famine-hungry people has been suspended due to conflicts and border blockages, and that "support for the rapidly expanding global acute food insecurity is being hampered." The United Nations WFP and FAO have already expressed a sense of crisis that 41 million people are at risk of famine if they do not receive urgent food and livelihood assistance.


According to the Global Report on Food Crisis, in 2020, 155 million people in 55 countries will be in Crisis or above IPC (CH Phase 3 or above). Faced with acute food insecurity, the number has increased by more than 20 million since 2019, and this trend is expected to worsen this year, pessimistically.


According to the report, conflicts, extreme weather and economic shocks (related to the economic impact of the new coronavirus) are likely to remain the main contributors to serious food insecurity during the period August-November 2021. In some areas, cross-border threats are exacerbating. In particular, the outbreak of Desert locust in the "African horn" and the outbreak of the African migratory locust in southern Africa require continued monitoring and vigilance, they pointed out.


Africans are not the only ones exposed to food insecurity. It covers many countries and regions such as Syria, Yemen, Central America Honduras, and Myanmar in Asia, where the civil war continues. According to reports from the United Nations (UN), it is estimated that in 2020, up to 811 million people, one in ten of the world's population, will suffer from hunger. It's a daunting number to reach the goal of zero hunger by 2030, but the international community must work with wisdom to overcome this challenge.


These international organizations stated,  "In 2021, the United Nations Food System Summit, Nutrition Summit, and the 26th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Climate Change Framework (COP26) will be held to promote food security and nutrition through the transformation of the food system. It's an opportunity. "  But, there is no longer any time left to resolve food insecurity.


Jiro Arihara

Global Commodity Watcher