Seed World

Food Crisis is Inevitable, 20 Hunger Hotspots Identified

Millions across the globe are suffering through poverty and hunger as a result of recent conflict, extreme weather, economic shocks, the lasting effects of COVID-19 and the consequences of the war in Ukraine.

In 2020, more than 2.3 billion people lacked access to adequate food year-round, with nearly 9.9% of people estimated to have been undernourished, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Experts predicted more than 50 million Americans would be food insecure in 2020, including about 17 million children, shared Craig Gundersen, professor in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois.

And that was before the COVID crisis hit, so it might not account for income losses and other challenges that could increase the number of hungry people.

FAO and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) issued a warning of food crises on the horizon with a new report that calls for immediate humanitarian action in the 20 ‘hunger hotspots’ where acute hunger is predicted to worsen from June to September 2022.

The report suggests that the war in Ukraine has worsened the continuously increasing food and energy prices worldwide. The effects will be monumental when combined with economic instability and drops in food production from climate shocks.

“We are deeply concerned about the combined impacts of overlapping crises jeopardizing people’s ability to produce and access foods, pushing millions more into extreme levels of acute food insecurity,” said FAO director-general QU Dongyu. “We are in a race against time to help farmers in the most affected countries, including by rapidly increasing potential food production and boosting their resilience in the face of challenges”.

“We’re facing a perfect storm that is not just going to hurt the poorest of the poor – it’s also going to overwhelm millions of families who until now have just about kept their heads above water,” added WFP executive director David Beasley.

What Does this Mean for the Seed Industry?

Meeting the needs of a growing world will take communication, both to the public and with the farmers producing food.

“It’s important in gaining understanding of food production [to know] where food is coming from, who the key actors are in food production,” says Michael Keller, International Seed Federation secretary general. “We have a responsibility to continue [to deliver] a sustainable seed supply.”

Read More About Food Security Efforts:

Seed Banks Could Hold the Key to Food Security, Climate Change Mitigation

FAO: Note on the Impact of the War on Food Security in Ukraine

FAO DG Tackles Food Security Impact of Russia-Ukraine Conflict, Presents Policy Recommendations

Seed is the Cornerstone of Food Security