FAO assesses that 45 countries, including 33 in Africa, nine in Asia, two in Latin America and the Caribbean, and one in Europe, are in need of external assistance for food. Prospects of persisting drought in East Africa raise serious concerns about levels of acute food insecurity, with famine projected to occur among agropastoral households in Somalia. Globally, while international prices have softened, local food prices remain high and continue to severely hinder access to food.
Rainfall shortages in parts of North Africa and Southern Africa, which has also been hit by cyclones, contain 2023 production prospects, with crops to be harvested in the next months. Forecasts of persisting drought conditions in East Africa heighten the risks of a sixth successive poor season in 2023, with a potential severe impact on acute food insecurity levels. In West Africa, whilst a favourable rainfall outlook bodes well for 2023 crops, conflicts continue to drive up food assistance needs.
Sustained rainfall is needed in Near East and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries of Asia to shore up 2023 production prospects, following erratic rains earlier in the season. Preliminary prospects for the 2023 wheat output in Far East Asian countries are favourable, reflecting conducive weather conditions and large plantings.
LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN
In South America, robust export demand is underpinning prospects of a large maize acreage, notably in Brazil where official forecasts also point to a record output in 2023. Although rains improved in recent months in Argentina, earlier deficits affected part of the 2023 maize crop. In Central America and the Caribbean, acute food insecurity is worsening in Haiti due to gang violence, an economic downturn and the effects of natural disasters.
The next issue of the quarterly report Crop Prospects and Food Situation will be published in July 2023.
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations