The crisis we can still avert
Publication Date: 18/10/2022
By September of 2022, the global food crisis had gotten so extreme that 205.1 million people urgently need humanitarian food assistance just to survive. Tragically, if we do nothing, the crisis could grow by another 620.9 million people in the next 6 months. That is the crisis we can still avert. Investing in food production, increasing resilience, and functioning markets can stave off this crisis if we act fast.
A recent report from Gro Intelligence and CRU Group estimates that the impacts from the Ukraine crisis on nitrogen fertilizer availability in the global agriculture system will lead to a total loss of 72 trillion calories of food produced in 2022 alone. That loss would cause 620.9 million MORE people who are already struggling to meet their basic food needs to lose at least one more meal a day for the next 6 months. This is the crisis that is coming—growing the current crisis by more than three times higher the 205.1 million people already experiencing food crisis.
Gender inequality will play a significant role in this crisis. Based on current trends in gender equality and food security, 332.8 million of these people will be women. That means 44.7 million more women than men could miss one meal a day for the next 6 months. Women could miss 8.5 billion more meals than men.
This is not a foregone conclusion. We can still act to prevent the worst of the crisis. The number of calories lost is only part of the story. Food insecurity is as much as story of inequality as it is of food production.