LONDON, ENGLAND — The Global Report on Food Crises 2019, released by the International Grains Council’s Food Assistance Committee (FAC) on Dec. 20, indicated that more than 113 million people in 53 countries faced hunger in 2018. The worst food crises occurred in Yemen, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Afghanistan, Ethiopia, the Syrian Arab Republic, Sudan, South Sudan and northern Nigeria.

The IGC said the increase in large-scale crises that occurred simultaneously in 2018 underscored the ongoing relevance of the FAC.

 “The Convention represents a continued commitment by its 16 Member States to contribute to global food security and to strengthen the ability of the international community to respond to emergency food situation and to save lives, reduce hunger and improve the nutritional status of the most vulnerable populations,” the IGC  said. “To achieve these goals, all members fulfilled their obligations of $3.15 billion, with parties substantially exceeding their commitments up to a total of $5 billion supporting global food security.”

Key responses were carried out by the United Nations (UN), the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement (RCRC) and international and national Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) to support people in need in emergency affected countries.

In 2018, the Member States were involved in International Pledging Conferences to mobilize further resources due to the still alarming levels of crises affecting food insecure people in places like Syria and its neighboring countries as well as in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The IGC noted that a field mission to Uganda concluded that the broad spectrum of programs was well designed, with a strong emphasis on complementing each other’s programs and embracing immediate food assistance and longer-term resilience of refugees and host communities.

To ensure the alignment with existing humanitarian coordination mechanisms, the FAC Member States also linked up with the World Bank’s (WB) efforts to set up the Famine Action Mechanisms (FAM).

“Global emergency hunger remained at its highest level in 2018,” the IGC said. “This persistence of food crises was in large part due to multiple, ongoing humanitarian crises linked to violent conflicts, often exacerbated by drought and economic instability, increasingly exposing millions of people to hunger.”