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Our window of opportunity for achieving SDG 2 — eradicating hunger and malnutrition and ensuring access to safe, nutritious, and sufficient food for all by 2030 — is closing rapidly. However, far from moving closer to that goal, the world has seen a resurgence of hunger and food insecurity.
According to FEWS NET, the prevalence of malnutrition and the rate of crude mortality have surpassed famine thresholds in the Bay Region of southern Somalia. A combination of poor crop production and deteriorating purchasing power has pushed poor households in this region into massive food deficits. Due to this rapidly deteriorating situation, the FAO-managed Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit and FEWS NET have now classified this region as IPC Phase 5 Famine.
Emergency food reserves, or strategic reserves, have received considerable attention since the 2007-08 food crisis. Since that time, many countries have either established new strategic reserve programs or scaled up their existing programs by increasing stock levels. The rationale behind these policies is that, with increasing international food price volatility, governments must be prepared to protect their most vulnerable populations from food price shocks, declining purchasing power, and famine.