High levels of acute food insecurity were experienced by 258 million people in 58 nations and territories in 2022, according to the Global Report on Food Crises 2023 report published May 3 by the Food Security Information Network and the Global Network Against Food Crises.

The 2022 total is up from 193 million people in 2021, with five additional countries / territories having residents facing food insecurity compared to 2021. This is the fourth year in a row that global food insecurity has increased, and “this is the highest on record since the GRFC started reporting these data in 2017.”

“A food crisis occurs when levels of acute food insecurity and malnutrition rise sharply at local or national levels, raising the need for emergency food assistance. The GRFC processes aim to distinguish a food crisis from chronic food insecurity based on the interaction of shocks experienced in 2022, and that affect one or more of the pillars of food security: food availability, food access, food utilization and food stability,” the report explained. “Food crises are more likely among populations already suffering from prolonged food insecurity and malnutrition, and in areas where structural factors increase their vulnerability to shocks.”

The Syrian Arab Republic and Yemen had the highest percentage of their populations facing food insecurity (55% in both nations), followed by Afghanistan (46%) and Pakistan (43%).

The Democratic Republic of the Congo had the highest number of food insecure people (26.4 million), followed by Ethiopia (23.6 million), Afghanistan (19.9 million), Nigeria (19.5 million) and Yemen (17.3 million).

Three situations were the primary factors contributing to food insecurity: conflict and insecurity (117.1 people in 19 countries), economics shocks (83.9 million people in 27 countries), and extreme weather (56.8 million people in 12 countries).

In 30 food crises situations with available data, the report found that 35 million children aged five or under experienced wasting in 2022, with 9.2 million of these children facing severe wasting.

Wasting is a form of extreme malnutrition due to poor or inadequate nutrition, according to UNICEF. It is life- threatening, causing children to become extremely thin and to have weakened immune systems.

As many as 153.4 million people in 38 nations are projected to face situations of acute food insecurity in 2023, though the report noted that this number is likely to increase due to “a number of shocks that occurred in early 2023 and were not factored into the available estimates.”

The full report is available here, an interactive report is available here, and an executive summary is available here.

Country profiles are available here, and regional summaries are available here.

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