Globally, levels of hunger remain alarmingly high. In 2021, they surpassed all previous records as reported by the Global Report on Food Crises (GRFC), with close to 193 million people acutely food insecure and in need of urgent assistance across 53 countries/territories, according to the findings of the GRFC 2022. This represents an increase of nearly 40 million people compared to the previous high reached in 2020 (reported in the GRFC 2021).

This increase must be interpreted with care, given that it can be attributed to both a worsening acute food insecurity situation and a substantial (22 percent) expansion in the population analysed between 2020 and 2021. However, even when considering the share of the analysed population in Crisis or worse (IPC/CH Phase 3 or above) or equivalent, the proportion of the population in these phases has increased since 2020.

When considering the results of the six editions of the GRFC, the number of people has risen by 80 percent since 2016, when around 108 million people across 48 countries were acutely food insecure and in need of urgent assistance (Crisis or worse (IPC/CH Phase 3 or above) or equivalent.

When comparing the 39 countries/territories that were consistently in food crisis in all six editions of the GRFC, the number of people in Crisis or worse (IPC/CH Phase 3 or above) or equivalent almost doubled between 2016 and 2021 – up from 94 million to almost 180 million.

This increase across the six years of the GRFC – both in terms of absolute numbers and the percentage of the analysed population in these three highest acute food insecurity phases – reflects increased availability of acute food insecurity data, broader geographical coverage, revised population figures, and deteriorating food security contexts in a number of countries.

The outlook for global acute food insecurity in 2022 is expected to deteriorate further relative to 2021. In particular, the unfolding war in Ukraine is likely to exacerbate the already severe 2022 acute food insecurity forecasts included in this report, given that the repercussions of the war on global food, energy and fertilizer prices and supplies have not yet been factored into most country-level projection analyses.

The GRFC focuses on food crises where the local capacities to respond are insufficient, prompting a request for the urgent mobilization of the international community, as well as in countries/territories where there is ample evidence that the magnitude and severity of the food crisis exceed the local resources and capacities needed to respond effectively.

It provides estimates for populations in countries/territories where data are available, based on the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) and Cadre Harmonisé (CH) or comparable sources. Populations in Crisis or worse (IPC/CH Phase 3 or above) or equivalent are in need of urgent food and livelihood assistance.