We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
The Global Report on Food Crises, presented on 22 March 2018 in Rome, indicates that major risks of famine were averted in 2017 in the four countries that were declared at risk in early 2017: Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and North Nigeria.
However, it also highlights the severity and the complexity of food crises around the world.
Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, responsible for the Joint Research Centre said: "Food crises remain one of the most pressing catastrophes worldwide. In Africa alone, over a hundred million people are facing food insecurity with some on the brink of famine. Unfortunately, there is no simple solution. The scientific rigour applied by the Joint Research Centre in compiling the annual report on food crises will help us diagnose the problems correctly and propose the best policies."
The report shows that, in 2017, almost 124 million people faced levels of acute food insecurity or worse.
The report finds that in the future, food crises are likely to become more acute, persistent and complex.
Among the main root causes for severe food insecurity, it cites conflict, extreme climatic events and excessive prices of staple foods – these factors are often acting together.
To tackle the root causes of these pressing challenges, the EU is working to implement a long term strategy, taking into account humanitarian aid, development assistance and peace building support in an integrated way – and thereby increasing the resilience of people and communities in partner countries.
To implement this long term strategy, the European Union supports measures to improve food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture in over 60 partner countries, providing approximately €8,5 billion of funding between 2014 and 2020.
For the four major food crises in 2017 in particular, the European Union contributed over €750 million to joint humanitarian and development support, and EU Member States additionally provided over €1 billion.
The Global Report on Food Crises provides a comprehensive picture of the severity and magnitude of acute food insecurity and malnutrition in 51 countries and territories, with in-depth analysis of 26 hot spots.
The knowledge it provides will steer our work to prevent food crises, as well as to develop appropriate, sustainable and joint responses to food insecurity.
Neven Mimica, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, presented the report in Rome, together with the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Food Programme, to an audience of over 50 Country-Representatives.
The new report led by the Food Security Information Netwok and compiled in cooperation with the JRC, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP) identifies crucial countries and regions where assistance should be prioritized to bridge the gap between emergency and development operations.
Moreover, it allows joint planning for the short-medium-long term with the aim to strengthen resilience.