FAO’s third 2016 Crop Prospects and Food Situation Report was recently released. The report is published four times a year and provides a review of the food situation by geographic region and includes a section dedicated to the Low Income Food Deficit Countries (LIFDC) and a list of countries requiring external assistance for food.

The FAO’s monthly report on food price trends was released last week. The bulletin reports on recent food price developments over the past month at the global, regional, and country levels, with a focus on developing countries and provides early warnings for high country-level food prices that may negatively affect food security.

The latest edition of the AMIS market monitor, released on September 8, shows that the international price of wheat, maize, rice, and soybean has decreased since July. This decline has been driven by improved global crop prospects and plentiful export availabilities.

The August FAO Food Price Index increased by 3 points (1.9 percent) from July to 165.6 points reaching a 15 month high. This increase was predominantly driven by price increases in dairy, oils and sugar, though all commodities covered except for cereals experienced an increase.

The monsoon season in Southeast Asia extends from May through September. According to a special report from the FAO's Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS), this year's monsoon season has seen above-average rains, along with a series of typhoons and tropical storms from June through early August.

The July FAO Food Price Index fell by 1.3 points following five consecutive months of increases. The slightly drop in July was driven mostly by lower international quotations of grains and vegetable oils.

The FAO estimates that malnutrition costs the global economy up to US$3.5 trillion or US$500 per person annually. To address this waste of economic potential, countries need to find ways to promote productive, sustainable food systems that support diverse, nutritious, and safe foods for all their citizens.

The indicators of development in the world have consistently improved over the past 25 years; globally, the proportion of people living in extreme poverty has decreased from 37.1 percent in 1990 to 12.7 percent in 2012. Despite this, multiple indicators remain alarmingly high, for instance, the percentage of child malnutrition/stunting currently stands at 23.8 percent.

Since 2010, USAID’s Feed the Future program has aimed to reduce hunger and poverty by improving developing countries’ agricultural sectors. In July of this year, the program received renewed long-term support under the US’s new Global Food Security Act. The Act is designed to promote food security, resilience, and improved nutrition through investments in smallholder agriculture in developing countries. It also codified Feed the Future, making it a permanent program.

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