LONDON, ENGLAND — The Food Assistance Convention (FAC) on Dec. 20 released its 2021 annual narrative report that described the worsening of the global hunger crisis and the FAC’s efforts to address the problem.

In 2021, hunger surpassed all previous records as reported by the Global Report on Food Crises (GRFC). The report, published in May 2022 (covering the year 2021), indicated that around 193 million people in 53 countries were in crisis or worse (IPC/CH Phase 3 or above) by the end of 2021, with an increase of nearly 40 million people since 2020. The magnitude and severity of food crises in 2021 were driven mainly by protracted conflict and insecurity, economic shocks — related to the COVID-19 pandemic — and weather extremes that exacerbated pre-existing fragilities.

Malnutrition remained at critical levels, driven by several factors, including low physical availability and economic and physical access to food, poor child-feeding practices, a high prevalence of childhood illnesses, poor maternal dietary practices during pregnancy and low access to sanitation, drinking water and health care.

FAC said the increase in serious and large-scale crises that occurred simultaneously in 2021 and the food crisis that are expected to worsen in 2022 due to the conflict in Ukraine, conflicts and inadequate rain in many parts of Africa, emphasizes the continued relevance of the organization.

“The FAC represents a commitment by its parties to contribute to global food security and to improve the ability of the international community to respond to emergency food crises, to save and change lives, to reduce hunger, to improve levels of nutrition, to create livelihoods, and to strengthen the resilience and self-sufficiency of the most vulnerable populations,” it said. “This 2021 FAC Annual Report presents a summary of the parties’ contributions toward these objectives, as per their individual financial and narrative reports for the year.”

In 2021, all parties fulfilled or substantially exceeded their commitments by collectively contributing over $6.7 billion to the improvement of worldwide food security. Cash-based transfer programming continued to receive increased support as the transfer modality for multi-purpose assistance by FAC Parties. Most of the contributions were provided fully in grant form, with a substantial part consisting of earmarked or lightly earmarked contributions, predominately at country or activity level. Multi-year funding and un-earmarked contributions were mainly provided to the World Food Programme, and to a lesser extent through the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund and to country-based pooled funds.

Key responses were supported in collaboration with various agencies and programs of the United Nations, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, national governments in the developing world, and civil-society organizations. Geographically, food assistance was provided in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Pacific region.

In 2021, the top 10 FAC Recipient Countries were Ethiopia, Yemen, South Sudan, Syria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria and Bangladesh. Compared to the top 10 countries with most people in crisis, only Pakistan and Haiti (No. 9 and No. 10, respectively) are not included in the top 10 FAC recipient countries.