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Mutually reinforcing factors led to soaring food insecurity in 2020: 2021 Global Report on Food Crises Released
The number of people around the world facing severe food insecurity skyrocketed by 20 million in 2020, according to the 2021 Global Report on Food Crises, released today. Acute food insecurity now affects at least 155 million people across 55 countries/territories, with some regions facing famine-level hunger. In light of these soaring numbers, the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of zero hunger by 2030 seems to have gotten further from reach.
Agriculture played a leading role in the UN Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP22), held in November in Marrakesh, Morocco. This year’s conference theme was “Africa, Adaptation, and Agriculture”; the event focused on helping countries establish specific strategies to achieve the agreement reached at COP21 (the Paris Agreement) to cap climate change below two degrees Celsius of warming in this century.
Weather shocks-- from changing temperatures to fluctuations in rainfall-- pose a serious risk for low-income farmers, pastoralists, fisherfolk and others whose livelihoods depend on the natural resources impacted by these changes.
By combining climate and yield projections with the IIASA Global Biosphere Management Model, researchers say they have identified the likely needed adaptations and transformations for global agricultural systems.
One of the biggest challenges faced by smallholder farmers today is climate change, and the increasingly variable weather patterns that result from it. While farmers in some tropical regions may benefit from rising temperatures, the majority of the world's smallholders will face increased hardship as a result of warmer weather and uncertain rainfall. Future food security, particularly for developing countries, will depend on how populations react to and cope with the challenges presented by climate change.