COUNTRIES REQUIRING EXTERNAL ASSISTANCE FOR FOOD
FAO assesses that globally 44 countries, including 33 in Africa, nine in Asia and two in Latin America and the Caribbean, are in need of external assistance for food. Critical areas of concern are Afghanistan and the Tigray Region in Ethiopia, where conflict situations have severely worsened the already fragile food insecurity conditions, and in Haiti and southern Madagascar due to natural disasters and weather shocks. At the global level, the impact of the COVID‐19 pandemic continues to undermine food security.
Floods in West Africa and East Africa caused crop damage and losses in localized areas resulting in small production downturns in 2021, but the aggregate outputs are still forecast to remain above average. Unabated conflicts in both subregions continue to drive up food insecurity. Harvesting of the main season crops was completed in North Africa and Southern Africa earlier in the year and outputs are estimated at above‐average levels.
Drought conditions in Near East countries dragged down cereal production to below‐average levels, while the poor socio‐economic situations in several countries exacerbated the impacts on agriculture and food security, particularly in Afghanistan and the Syrian Arab Republic. In Far East, wheat production reached a record high in 2021, while the paddy output was estimated at a bumper level reflecting beneficial weather conditions. In CIS Asia, rainfall shortages curbed yields and the overall cereal output is forecast to be below average in 2021.
LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN
The impact of two concurrent natural disasters in Haiti inflicted agricultural damage and significantly worsened the food insecurity situation in the country. In South America, prolonged dryness in some major producing countries reduced crop yields, but larger plantings mostly offset the effects of reduced crop productivity, helping to maintain above‐average harvests in 2021.