The leaders of development agencies and big donors, such as the EU and the United States, gathered today to comment on the Global Report on Food Crises 2023, which is dramatically alarming. In the words of the World Bank Director during the launch: “food crises, once exceptional, are becoming the new normal.”
In 2022, 258 million people in 58 countries faced high levels of acute food insecurity, with 0.38 million in catastrophe, 35 million in emergency, and 143.7 million in crisis.
Economic shocks surpassed conflicts as the primary driver of the crisis. The war on Ukraine exacerbated already fragile economies impacted by COVID-19, and even if global food prices decreased since March 2022, domestic food prices remained high.
All panelists illustrated their interventions thus far and how much they poured into development assistance and emergency aid, but this is not enough, and often not going into the right solutions.
This report confirms that things are getting worse, and if we don’t change direction, extreme crises will become the new normal.
Social protection and immediate aid delivery are important in the short term, but the longstanding solution to this crisis is a systemic change in our food and economic system. We must invest in the transition to agroecology to support developing countries’ resilience and food self-sufficiency, breaking their dependency on food imports. We must counter the excessive power of multinational corporations who are making rich profits out of the crisis and start putting the money into the right initiatives (supporting school meals programs, promoting local production of biopesticides and organic fertilizers) instead of pouring billions into false solutions that will not address the real and root causes of hunger and poverty.