Ongoing conflicts and their increasing intensity are exacerbating food insecurity, while efforts to mitigate international food prices are faltering due to currency weakness in many low-income countries, said a recent report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The report estimates that a total of 46 countries around the world, including 33 in Africa, require external assistance with regard to food.
The FAO stated that the estimates indicate that more than half of the population in Gaza has been suffering from acute food insecurity since 2022.
The organization anticipates that the escalation of conflicts there will increase the need for humanitarian interventions and emergency aid, while access to the affected areas remains a significant concern.
The organization also added that indirect repercussions of the conflict may worsen food insecurity in Lebanon.
Furthermore, the report notes that while global grain production is expected to grow by 0.9% in 2023 compared to the previous year, the growth rate will be half of this percentage in the group of 44 countries with low food security income.
The warnings from the international organization come despite the global price index for FAO hitting its lowest level in over two years in October, driven by declining prices of sugar, grains, vegetable oils, and meat.
The organization reported on Friday that its index, which tracks the most traded food commodities globally, averaged 120.6 points in October, down from 121.3 in the previous month. The only group to record an increase was dairy products.
On an annual basis, the overall index fell by 10.9% compared to the same month of the previous year, with the October reading being the lowest since March 2021.