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GIEWS Update – The Republic of the Union of Myanmar, 31 July 2023

The current critical food insecurity situation could deteriorate in the second half of 2023











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    Heavy monsoon rains and subsequent flooding between mid-June and end-August 2022 disrupted the livelihoods of about 33 million people and destroyed agricultural land, crops, livestock assets, critical agricultural infrastructure and households’ food reserves. The floods caused significant losses to the 2022 “Kharif” food and cash crops, including rice, maize, cotton, sugarcane, vegetables and orchards, with the bulk of the damage concentrated in Sindh Province. Prices of wheat, the country’s main staple, and other basic food items have been generally rising since the end of 2021 and reached record or near-record levels in August 2022. Acute food insecurity is expected to worsen in parts of the country due to the negative impact of the floods and the very high prices of basic food items, energy and fuel. International food and agricultural assistance is urgently needed to avoid the deterioration of the local food security situation.
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    Prolonged drought conditions since August 2022 have severely affected the country's 2022 wheat production and are expected to curb the 2023 maize output, currently being harvested. The decline in cereal production will likely affect farmers’ livelihoods and exert additional upward pressure on the already high prices, further constraining access to food for the most vulnerable households.
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    In the Gaza Strip, the ongoing conflict has caused the collapse of local livelihood systems and displaced about 1.9 million people. Between December 2023 and February 2024, the entire population (about 2.2 million people) is estimated to face high levels of acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 [Crisis] and above), including 576 000 people in IPC Phase 5 (Catastrophe). The risk of famine is very high, as the threshold for acute food insecurity has already been exceeded, while the thresholds for acute malnutrition and non-trauma mortality may also be breached by mid‑2024 if hostilities continue. The cessation of hostilities and unimpeded humanitarian access are urgently needed to avert the risk of famine.

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