Navigating the Global Food Crisis


The 2022 Global Report on Food Crises, issued by the Global Network against Food Crises, reveals that the number of people facing acute food insecurity has reached its highest level in the report’s six-year history. In 2021, nearly 193 million individuals experienced severe food shortages, reflecting an increase of nearly 40 million compared to 2020. This marks an alarming 80% rise since 2016. The main contributors to this surge include “economic shocks,” such as a sharp  rise in global food prices. Additionally, inflation in food prices within low-income nations has escalated considerably. “Weather-related disasters” also play a significant role, being the primary factor behind acute food shortages for 15.7 million people in 15 different countries. (Soken, n.d.)

By 2050, the global population is anticipated to rise to nearly 9 billion, necessitating a more than 100% increase in food production. Presently, 842 million people, or 1 in 8, face daily hunger. Furthermore, approximately 1 billion individuals are food insecure, meaning they lack access to a sufficient quantity of affordable and nutritious food. Although agriculture has advanced to meet rising food demands, farmers will need to boost food production by 70-100% to fulfill global nutritional needs.

Given the limited availability of new agricultural land, projections from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) suggest that 80% of the additional food required by 2050 must be produced on existing farmland. Consequently, farmers and food producers will have to achieve these higher yields on the same or reduced acreage while relying on fewer natural resources.

What is Food Security?

According to the 1996 World Food Summit, food security is achieved when all individuals consistently have both physical and economic access to adequate, safe, and nutritious food that fulfills their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy lifestyle. (What Is Food Security? There Are Four Dimensions, n.d.)

The Four Core Dimensions of Food Security:

1. Physical Availability of Food: This dimension focuses on the “supply side” of food security, influenced by factors like food production levels, stock quantities, and net trade.

2. Economic and Physical Access to Food: An ample national or international food supply does not necessarily ensure household-level food security. Addressing food access issues involves a policy emphasis on incomes, expenditures, markets, and prices to achieve food security goals.

3. Food Utilization: Utilization refers to how effectively the body uses the nutrients in the food consumed. Adequate intake of energy and nutrients depends on proper care and feeding practices, food preparation methods, dietary diversity, and the equitable distribution of food within households. These factors, along with efficient biological utilization, determine an individual’s nutritional status.

4. Stability of the Other Three Dimensions Over Time: Consistent food intake is essential; even if food access is adequate today, periodic shortages can lead to food insecurity and negatively impact nutritional status. Factors such as adverse weather, political instability, and economic challenges (like unemployment or rising food prices) can affect food security.

For food security goals to be met, these four dimensions must be addressed concurrently.

Securing the Future Food Availability

The global food crisis, intensified by COVID-19 and the war conflict, poses a severe threat, impacting nations unevenly. To prevent regression in development, widespread poverty, and global famine, we need strong, sustained international political commitment.

Key measures for global food security include more effective food distribution and overhauling our food systems. Shifting from profit-driven food production to ensuring no one goes hungry is crucial, requiring reduced demand in affluent nations and increased supply in developing ones. Sustainable farming practices, new technologies, and education on food waste’s consequences are essential.

Policy-wise, urgent interventions in resource allocation, land use, food trade, and price regulation are needed. The EU’s recent €1.5 billion initiative to stabilize food security, including freeing up 4 million hectares of land for crops, is a positive step. However, to prevent future shortages, a fundamental shift in our approach to food production and consumption is imperative. (Igini, 2024)


Igini, M. (2024). Why Global Food Security Matters in 2024. Earth.Org. Retrieved June 17, 2024, from

Soken, E. (n.d.). Top 20 Current Global Issues We Must Address. Human Rights Careers. Retrieved June 17, 2024, from

What is Food Security? There are Four Dimensions. (n.d.). World Bank. Retrieved June 17, 2024, from

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