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The viral pandemic is bringing a new global hunger crisis

Conflict, climate shocks, and economic downturns have caused acute hunger among 135 million people worldwide in 2019, according to the 2020 Global Report on Food Crises.

The report, now in its fourth year, documents a troubling trend: the number of people facing a food security crisis or worse continues to tick up from 108 million in 2016.


The World Food Programme projects 270 million hungry people in countries where it operates before the end of the year, 82 percent more than before the pandemic.


Global stocks of most staple grains remain adequate, but the pandemic has disrupted food systems already under strain. The United Nations predicts new threats to food security as a result of collapse in demand for internationally produced agri-food products, sellers’ and buyers’ lack of access to small-scale local food markets, and loss of income from remittances and other sources.


ADAM BEHSUDI is on the staff of Finance & Development.

Opinions expressed in articles and other materials are those of the authors; they do not necessarily reflect IMF policy.