A Look at Food Insecurity Around the World

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Food insecurity can be defined as a situation either for a long or short period where food intake or eating patterns is disrupted due to lack of money and other factors. Many people around the world are not able to meet their required needs, problems that increase their food insecurity risk. Some places produce more than others. There are many possible solutions to overcome this global issue that scientists and others came out with.

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Food insecurity can be distinguished by the duration of the situation. These different types of food insecurity are chronic, transitory, and seasonal food insecurity. Chronic food insecurity means a long term continuing condition of food insecurity. This occurs for long periods (from 6 months of the year or more). Temporary food insecurity signifies a short-term food insecurity situation. This occurs when the ability to produce or obtain sufficient food for a good nutritional status unexpectedly decreases usually after a duration of drought or conflict. Seasonal food insecurity means the condition of food insecurity that inevitably reoccurs, given seasonal cyclic patterns.

Many factors affect food security such as global warming, the growing population in developing countries, and lack of resources in some places around the world. Climate change is highly likely to impact global, regional, and local food security. Climate change can interfere with food supply, reduce access to food, and affect food quality. In short, all elements of the food system are affected. Projected increases in temperature, changes in precipitation levels, changes in extreme climatic conditions, and water quality reduction will all result in decreased agricultural productivity. 80% of the world’s crops are rainfed, and most farmers depend on regular rainy weather, but climate change is changing the patterns of rainfall around the world. Food access is also affected by climate change if climate change affects food production. Very simple supply and demand have big impacts: climate change and weather disasters like floods or droughts can lead to high food prices. Such price spikes make the poorest households more vulnerable, with the urban poor spending on food as much as 75% of their overall income. Lack of resources in developing countries can mean that not many people grow crops due to the lack of resources there and the price to do it. The rapid growth of the population in developing also affects food security because as climate change is impacting food production and access, the demand for food will keep increasing as the population grows but as the population of these areas keeps growing they also have smaller farm sizes to produce food than before.

The world produces more than enough food to feed everyone on this planet but in 2019 according to estimates, around 690 million people are undernourished worldwide. SubSaharan Africa had the highest rates of food insecurity (55%) and extreme food insecurity (28%) globally in terms of the region) in 2017. The next regions are Latin America and the Caribbean which 32% of its population are food insecure and 12% of its population experience extreme food insecurity. The last region in this list is South Asia where 30% of its population is food insecure and 13% experience extreme food insecurity. The hungriest country in the Sub-Saharan Africa region and the world is the Central African Republic according to the 2019 Global Hunger Index. Roughly 63% of the country’s population needs humanitarian assistance. It involves 2.1 million which about 46% of the population suffering from food insecurity, which is a 10% rise from 2018. The hungriest country in Latin America and the Caribbean region is Haiti which has the highest level of hunger in the Western hemisphere based on the 2019 Global Hunger Index. 23% of the country’s population is food insecure at the beginning of 2019 roughly about 2.6 million people. Based on the 2019 Global Hunger Index, the hungriest country in South Asia is Timor Leste which is one of the poorest countries in that particular region. One-third of the 1.2 million inhabitants suffer from chronic food insecurity.

There are many possible solutions to fix this global food issue such as reducing food wastage, increasing water productivity, etc. As mentioned the world produces enough food for everyone but some of the available food is wasted therefore causing this problem. According to the Food and Agriculture of the United Nations (FAO), each year a third of all food is lost or wasted or about 1.3 billion tonnes in weight. This is about a third of the calories available for human consumption. Food losses in developing countries have serious implications for smallholder farmers’ incomes, which control food production and account for a significant proportion of the poor and undernourished populations. If one-quarter of the food presently lost or wasted can be saved, there will be enough food to feed the number of people who are hungry globally which is around 870 million people.

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A Look at Food Insecurity Around the World. (2022, Oct 03). Retrieved February 7, 2023 , from
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