Blog Post

Over Quarter Billion People Face Acute Food Insecurity in 2022: GFRC Released

The world reached a stark milestone in 2022, with over a quarter of a billion people in 58 countries/territories experiencing acute food insecurity (defined as IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) or higher), according to the 2023 Global Report on Food Crises (GRFC).[1] This number represents the fourth consecutive year of increasing food insecurity rates and the highest level seen in the seven-year publication history of the report. An additional 253 million people in 41 countries/territories experienced lower levels of food insecurity (IPC Phase 2 (Stressed)).

The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Yemen accounted for over 40 percent of the global population experiencing IPC Phase 3 food insecurity. These countries were followed by Myanmar, the Syrian Arab Republic, Sudan, Ukraine, and Pakistan. In addition, 39 countries /territories had populations in IPC Phase 4 food insecurity, while seven countries/territories faced extreme hunger and IPC Phase 5 food insecurity: Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen, Afghanistan, Haiti, Nigeria, and Burkina Faso.

The drivers behind these alarming rates of hunger and food insecurity are by now familiar: civil conflict, extreme weather events driven by climate change, economic shocks, and the impacts of both the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war. Economic decline drove rising food insecurity in 27 of the analyzed countries, while conflict was the primary driver in 19 and climate change was the primary driver in 12. In 2022, forcibly displaced populations also increased around the world; with displacement being identified by the report as both a driver and a consequence of food insecurity.

These factors are expected to continue throughout 2023; multiple regions are anticipated to experience even further negative food security outcomes due to the upcoming El Niño phenomenon, depreciating currencies and rising debt levels, and high local and regional food prices.

The report also emphasizes that, as in previous years, several countries did not have enough data available to be included for analysis. This implies that the true level of global hunger and food insecurity is likely even higher than that reported.

The GRFC concludes with a strong call to action from policymakers and the international community. Rather than waiting until populations are in IPC Phase 5 (Catastrophe) food insecurity, the report suggests, action needs to be taken in Phase 3 and 4, when populations are already engaging in harmful coping strategies and facing major food gaps. This earlier intervention can help protect households’ assets and livelihoods, prevent famine, and save lives – all in a much more cost-effective way than later humanitarian action.


[1] The GRFC analysis is based mainly on data from the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) or the Cadre Harmonisé (CH), which estimate the populations in need of food, nutrition, and/or livelihood assistance. When data from these sources are not available, the GRFC utilizes the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), the World Food Programme’s (WFP) Consolidated Approach for Reporting Indicators (CARI), and country-specific Humanitarian Needs Overviews (HNO).