The COVID-19 pandemic massively slowed down worldwide economic growth and poverty increased. At the onset of the pandemic, many governments put in place various containment measures such as restricting the free movements of people both within and between countries, and closing non-essential businesses and schools, among others.
With famine fast approaching in Somalia, there is still time to turn the tide by addressing the immediate needs of rural communities who are amongst those at greatest risk, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said in the context of the recently released food security survey findings.
This is a challenge for food security globally, but particularly for net food-importing developing countries. And unlike in previous food crises, they now face a double burden. They not only pay higher prices for the food they import, but the price increase is exacerbated by the depreciation of their currency vis-à-vis the US dollar.
The 21st Century has been marked by increased volatility in food prices, with global price spikes in 2007-08, 2010-11, and again in 2021-22. The impact of food inflation on the risk of child undernutrition is not well understood, however.
Measurement of food access typically relies on a consensus of different indicators. However, there is a growing list of surveys in which the Food Insecurity Experience Scale is one of the few food access indicators captured, likely because it is an official measure for tracking progress toward the Sustainable Development Goal of zero hunger.
The fourth edition of the IGAD Regional Focus of the Global Report on Food Crises highlights the alarming high level of acute food insecurity in 2021 in the region, where about 42 million people were estimated to be in Crisis or worse (IPC Phase 3 or above), exceeding the previous three-year high in 2020 by nearly 33 percent.