By News Desk on August 11, 2020
USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) is out with its annual International Food Security Assessment, and it isn’t pretty. And the reason things have gotten worse is the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.
The authors–Felix Baquedano, Cheryl Christensen, Kayode Ajewole, and Jayson Beckman–say the bottom line is this:
“In the 76 low- and middle-income countries examined in the report, the number of people considered food insecure in 2020 was estimated at almost 761 million people or 19.8 percent of the total population. The shock to GDP from COVID-19 is projected to increase the number of food-insecure people by 83.5 million people in 2020 to 844.5 million and increase the share of the population that is food insecure to 22 percent.”
The annual report determines how much access people in 76 low and middle-income countries have to food. The answer to that question requires tracking incomes, food prices, and other economic factors including agriculture production and market conditions.
“Widespread food availability, rising income levels, and low food prices improve a country’s food security, although the breadth of these gains can depend on the distribution of income within a country,” says the ERS report. ” Conversely, disruptions to income, prices, or food supply can increase food insecurity, especially for the poor.”
This year’s report looks at the income shock associated with the COVID-19 pandemic on food security in each of the 76 countries, which are located in Sub-Saharan and North Africa, Latin America, and Asia.
Among the findings are:
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Tags: Economic Research Service (ERS), Food Security Assessment
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