COUNTRIES REQUIRING EXTERNAL SUPPORT FOR FOOD
FAO estimates that globally 44 countries, including 33 in Africa, nine in Asia and two in Latin America and the Caribbean, need external assistance for food. Critical areas of concern are Afghanistan and the Tigray region of Ethiopia, where conflict situations have severely exacerbated the already fragile food insecurity conditions, and Haiti and southern Madagascar due to natural disasters and climatic shocks. Globally, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to undermine food security.
Floods in West Africa and East Africa have caused crop damage and losses in localized areas, leading to slight production slowdowns in 2021, but overall yields are still expected to remain above average . Continuing conflicts in the two sub-regions continue to exacerbate food insecurity. Harvesting of the main season crops was completed in North and Southern Africa earlier in the year and yields are estimated to be above average.
Drought conditions in Near Eastern countries have caused cereal production to drop to below average levels, while poor socioeconomic conditions in several countries have exacerbated the impacts on agriculture and food security, particularly in Afghanistan and the Syrian Arab Republic. In the Far East, wheat production reached a record high in 2021, while paddy production was estimated at a record high reflecting favorable weather conditions. In CIS Asia, lack of rainfall has hampered yields and overall cereal production is expected to be below average in 2021.
LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARABES
The impact of two simultaneous natural disasters in Haiti caused agricultural damage and significantly worsened the food insecurity situation in the country. In South America, prolonged drought in some major producing countries reduced crop yields, but larger plantations more than offset the effects of declining crop productivity, helping to maintain above-average harvests in South America. 2021.