Top 10 Countries with the Highest Number of People in Crisis or Worse in 2021

The ten states with food crises in 2021 were the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Yemen, northern Nigeria, the Syrian Arab Republic, the Sudan, South Sudan, Pakistan, and Haiti. Nearly 70 Pct of the world’s population is thought to be in crisis or worse or an equivalent situation. Acute food insecurity was the main cause of conflict or insecurity in seven of these countries.

In 36 nations in 2021, about 40 million people were experiencing emergency-level conditions or worse. Over 570,000 people in four countries – Yemen, South Sudan, southern Madagascar, and Ethiopia – were in grave danger of famine and death. People living in these terrible conditions now number four times as many as they did in 2020 and seven times the figure from 2016. Localized parts of South Sudan continued to experience famine throughout the first half of 2021.

Many low-income nations experienced a significant increase in domestic food price inflation, especially those with weak currencies and a high reliance on food imports, as well as those where trade flows were disrupted by border closures, conflict, or insecurity, as well as those where extreme weather conditions severely reduced food production and availability. The purchasing power of the poorest households, many of which were still enduring employment and income losses owing to pandemic-related limitations, was significantly impacted by these macroeconomic circumstances. With 23.5 million people in Crisis or worse or equivalent, weather extremes were the primary causes of acute food insecurity in eight African countries, including southern Madagascar, where nearly 14,000 people experienced Catastrophe from April to September 2021 as a result of the effects of drought. Since 2020, when it was thought that weather-related disasters were the main cause of 15.7 million people experiencing acute food insecurity across 15 countries, the effect of these disasters has grown more severe. Key crises in East, Central, and Southern Africa as well as Eurasia have been particularly harmed by weather shocks, such as drought, rainfall deficits, flooding, and cyclones.

The report forecasted the situation to worsen in 2022. In 41 out of the 53 countries/territories included in the report, as well as Cabo Verde, between 179 million and 181 million people are already forecast to be in Crisis or worse or equivalent in 2022.2 No forecast was available at the time of publication for 12 of the 53 countries/territories with an estimate reported in 2021. For most of the world’s major food crises, acute food insecurity is expected to persist at similar levels to 2021 or increase. Major deteriorations are anticipated in northern Nigeria, Yemen, Burkina Faso and the Niger due to conflict, as well as in Kenya, South Sudan and Somalia, largely due to the impact of consecutive seasons of below-average rains. Though significant uncertainty exists, an estimated 2.5–4.99 million people in Ukraine will likely need humanitarian assistance in the near term. During 2022, around 329 000 people will likely face Catastrophe in three countries. It is expected that for the fifth consecutive year, Yemen will have populations in Catastrophe, with 161,000 people projected to be in this phase, while the Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS NET) provided a range estimate for four countries (Ethiopia, Nicaragua, Uganda, and Zimbabwe) in 2022. EBR

1Democratic Republic of the Congo
5Nigeria (21 States and FCT)
6Syrian Arab Republic
8South Sudan

11th Year • Nov 2022 • No. 112

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