Overview

ERS provides quantitative and qualitative research and analysis on food security issues in developing countries. The research focuses on food security measurement and the key factors affecting food production and household access.

The annual ERS International Food Security Assessment is the only report to provide a 10-year projection of food security indicators for 76 low- and middle-income countries.

COVID-19 Working Paper: International Food Security Assessment, 2020-2030: COVID-19 Update and Impacts of Food Insecurity

Updated analysis estimates that in 2020, there will be 921 million food-insecure people, an increase of 160 million from the pre-pandemic estimate, and almost double the pre-COVID-19 estimate published in the ERS August 2020 International Food Security Assessment, 2020-2030. 

International Food Security Assessment, 2020–30

In recent years, the ERS International Food Security Assessments (IFSA) have estimated that between 500 and 700 million people in the 76 countries studied are food insecure. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused substantial and longer-term shocks to the economies of the countries included in the IFSA report. Gross domestic product (GDP) in the IFSA countries (as a group) was estimated to decline by 5.1 percent in 2020. Based on these projections, 921 million people were estimated to be food-insecure in 2020 (food-insecure people are those consuming less than the caloric target of about 2,100 calories per day). This is an increase of 160 million from the pre-pandemic estimate, and almost double the previous COVID-19 estimate published in the ERS August 2020 International Food Security Assessment, 2020-2030. However, food security conditions vary from year to year because of changes in food prices and per capita incomes in these countries. Despite progress, Sub-Saharan Africa continues to account for the highest share of food-insecure people in the regions assessed, followed by Latin America and the Caribbean, and then Asia.