FAO assesses that globally 46 countries/territories, including 33 in Africa, ten in Asia, two in Latin America and the Caribbean and one in Europe, are in need of external assistance for food. Persisting and intensifying conflicts are key drivers of the severest levels of acute food insecurity, with recent concerns centred on the Near East. Despite declining international prices, weak currencies in many low income countries are sustaining high domestic food prices and hampering households’ access to food.

Regional Highlights…

AFRICA; Reduced 2023 harvests are expected in most East African countries, notably the Sudan, where the conflict restricted access to fields and inputs. Upturns in production are foreseen across most of West Africa in 2023, following overall good weather conditions, although conflicts still affect local agricultural production. Planting of the 2024 crops is underway in North Africa, as well as Southern Africa where forecasts of El Niño linked dry weather conditions are weighing on production prospects.

ASIA; In Far East Asia, 2024 winter wheat crop is being sown and early indications point to a small increase in plantings. For the 2023 crops, aggregate cereal production is pegged at an above average level. Favourable weather conditions underlie an upturn in the cereal output in Near East Asia in 2023, following drought affected harvests in the previous year. Similarly, mostly conducive rainfall conditions pushed up the 2023 harvests in Central Asian countries.

LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN; In South America, the 2024 maize plantings are expected to decline from the highs of the previous year, mainly due to less favourable weather conditions. This follows a record cereal outturn in 2023, largely reflecting a bumper harvest in Brazil, which more than offset a production downturn in Argentina. In Central America and the Caribbean, the combination of civil insecurity, an economic downturn and poor weather conditions are adversely affecting agricultural production and acute food insecurity in Haiti.

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