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. Food insecurity conditions are of grave concern in parts of East Africa due to conflict and drought conditions, while in West Africa, food insecurity is foreseen to worsen to alarming levels in 2022 underpinned by shortfalls in agricultural production and persisting conflicts.
Adverse weather conditions and conflicts in East Africa and West Africa resulted in widespread crop damage, consequently, production downturns are forecast in multiple countries in 2021.
Planting of the 2022 crops is underway in North Africa, where soil moisture deficits have impeded sowing progress and in Southern Africa under generally conducive weather conditions, both subregions registered bumper outputs in 2021.
Planting of the 2022 cereal crops has begun in Near East countries, where rainfall deficits have raised some early concerns, particularly following the low harvests in 2021. Sowing operations for the 2022 crop have also started in Far East Asia, where harvesting of the 2021 crop is yet to be finalized, with the output forecast at a bumper high. In CIS in Asia, the 2021 cereal output is estimated to be below average due to unfavourable weather conditions.
LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN
In South America, firm grain prices are underpinning expectations of large cereal plantings for the 2022 crop, with good weather forecasts also bolstering production prospects. In Central America, the 2021 cereal production is forecast slightly below average, as rainfall deficits curbed yields of the minor season crops in several countries.