Photo credit: Pablo Tosco/Oxfam

On November 28, the Food Security Portal will be presenting a side event at the IFPRI-FAO conference on Accelerating the End of Hunger and Malnutrition.

The FSP event will focus on the importance of information, specifically early warning and early action systems, to prevent and respond to food security crises. Panelists will include representatives from IFPRI, FAO, UNHCR, CILSS, INERA, and government ministries.

Photo credit: Michael Coghlan

Unsafe food poses a significant threat to human health and well-being and can hamper agricultural transformation, market integration, and economic development. Populations in low- and middle-income countries are often hardest hit by the effects of unsafe food, with countries in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Africa south of the Sahara accounting for 53 percent of all foodborne illnesses and 75 percent of related deaths.

By: Sophie Theis and Elena Martinez
This piece originally appeared on the IFPRI.org blog

After many years of rapid growth, serious trade tensions have emerged between the United States and China. Since open trade is key to avoiding significant economic and environmental costs and help ensuring food security and nutrition, the ongoing trade conflicts have the potential for disastrous outcomes, as China and the US are key players in global agricultural trade.

The challenges facing global food security continue to increase, driven by ongoing conflict and climate shocks. According to the 2018 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World Report (released last week by FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP, and WHO), 821 million people were undernourished around the world in 2017; this represents a further rise from the 815 million estimated by the 2017 report. This troubling rise in undernourishment reverses progress seen over the past decade.

The FAO Crop Prospects and Food Situation Report for the second quarter of 2018 reports that 39 countries are currently in need of food assistance. Thirty-one of those countries are in Africa, seven are in Asia, and one is in Latin America and the Caribbean. Persistent conflict remain the leading driver of these needs. In addition, weather shocks have also limited food access and availability in the affected countries, in some cases severely.

Photo Credit: PROEmilio Küffer

Global wheat and maize prices rose for the third consecutive month in March, according to the latest FPMA Bulletin from FAO. This increase brings prices more than 10 percent above their December 2017 levels.

Prolonged dry weather in the United States drove much of the price increases for wheat, as did concerns about cold and wet weather in some parts of Europe. Dry weather in Argentina contributed to maize price increases. Global demand for these commodities also remained strong in March, further driving up prices.

The world’s urgent humanitarian assistance needs continued to grow in 2017, according to the 2018 Global Report on Food Crises. An estimated 124 million people across 51 countries currently face crisis-level or worse food insecurity, up from 104 million people across 48 countries in 2016.

Photo Credit: Jamed Falik/IFPRI

The world will continue to face major challenges from political and economic uncertainty, conflict, and climate change in 2018 and beyond, and the rising trend of anti-globalization in some developed countries could hamper the ability of policymakers to respond to these challenges. The result could be slowed progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and food and nutrition security, especially in developing countries.

Photo Credit: IFPRI/Farha Khan

The latest version of FAO’s Monthly Report on Food Price Trends (FPMA) was recently released. The February report shows global cereal prices have increased overall since the start of 2018.

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