Food shortages are often portrayed as random – the result of freak weather conditions or short-term political crises. Yet they are often deeply predictable – while short-term trends can exaggerate the impact, most of the causes are structural.
Last week the Famine Early Warning System (FEWS Net) released its latest forward-looking analysis of food needs in key countries. The data track not just which countries are likely to have food shortages this year but when they are likely to occur.
IRIN's interactive map highlights countries that are particularly prone to crisis. Click on a country to see how many people are at risk, the level of crisis and when the potential lean season is.
See the map here.
FEWS Net doesn’t cover all countries with food crises. Syria, India,
and Iraq, for example are excluded. This is partly due to FEWS Net's
background - it was founded in Africa - and also partly because in the
case of Syria and Iraq these trends are still new.
there are no countries classified as being in the midst of a famine,
but South Sudan is one level below at “emergency”. Some 17 countries,
including Yemen, Sudan and Senegal, are given phase 3 status – crisis –
meaning at least 1 in 5 households face significant food gaps. Yemen,
the report said, would have been in phase four were it not for ongoing
humanitarian aid, which has been threatened by violence in recent weeks.
Right now, we’re working with contributors on the ground in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries to tell the stories of people enduring and responding to a rapidly evolving humanitarian crisis.
We’re documenting the threats to humanitarian response in the country and providing a platform for those bearing the brunt of the invasion. Our goal is to bring you the truth at a time when disinformation is rampant.
But while much of the world’s focus may be on Ukraine, we are continuing our reporting on myriad other humanitarian disasters – from Haiti to the Sahel to Afghanistan to Myanmar. We’ve been covering humanitarian crises for more than 25 years, and our journalism has always been free, accessible for all, and – most importantly – balanced.
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