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USDA Projects Significant Decline in Global Food Insecurity

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A significant global decline in the number of people who are food insecure (lacking access to food sufficient for 2,100 daily calories) is expected over the next decade, according to a USDA report published Aug. 20.

USDA’s annual publication projects food security for 76 low- to middle-income nations in four regions: Sub-Saharan Africa (39 countries), North Africa (4), Latin America and the Caribbean (11) and Asia (22).

The percentage of food insecure persons in these nations is expected to fall to 9.2% (399 million people) by 2029, a 10.1% decrease from 2019.

The African continent currently has the highest number of countries with food insecure persons and the most nations with 50% or more of the population lacking sufficient daily food.

While this is expected to remain true in 2029, the report projects significant improvements.

Food insecurity in Sub-Saharan Africa is anticipated to drop 12.9% to 22.5% of the population lacking 2,100 calories of food daily, while North Africa could see a 3.3% decline to 1.9% of the population.

Anticipation of lower food prices, rising incomes and more equal income distribution are among the factors influencing the USDA estimates, reversing trends seen during the past decade.

While setting forth a generally positive decade in terms of food security, the report cautioned that “model projections cannot take into account future unknown adverse events, such as destruction and disruption caused by catastrophic weather, armed conflict or great political and economic instability.”

The full report is available here. A summary is available here.