Food insecurity trends over time

Published : November 2020

The number of acutely food-insecure people has increased over the past five years, mostly due to insecurity and large-scale displacement in conflict-affected countries. The increase is also due to economic shocks and extreme climate events in some countries as well as to Covid‑19‑related impacts in 2020. The figure illustrates the region’s typical seasonal variations, which are marked by the precarious lean season in Sahelian countries (June-August), a three-month period between two harvests when food stocks are depleted. The food situation usually improves once new harvests become available. The 2020 food and nutrition crisis reaches a new peak of food insecurity in the region. Between 2016-20, the region counted on average about 8.3 million acutely food-insecure people in March-May and 12 million in June-August. The number of food insecure people requiring urgent assistance in 2020 is far above the 5-year average and doubled in many countries compared to 2019. These estimates do not yet take into account the negative impacts of Covid-19-related lockdowns on the urban poor.

Countries : Region

Themes : Agriculture & Value chains, Covid-19, Food security, Markets, prices & trade, Nutrition, Resilience, Social protection

Scale : Regional (West Africa)

Langs : English

See also

Sahel and West Africa: 27.3 million of people in crisis phase ( 3-5), March-may 2022


Sahel and West Africa: 33.4 million people expected to face crisis or worse (phase 3-5) June-Aug 2022


Sahel and West Africa: 23.7 million people in crisis phase (3-5), Oct-Dec


ECOWAS countries with more than 1 million acutely-food insecure people (phases 3-5)


Acutely-food insecure people in the UEMOA area (phase 3-5)