Interactive graphic

< Back to report

Global Food Security Assistance

GAO-21-47R, November 19, 2020

Nearly 690 million people throughout the world were undernourished in 2019, according to the United Nations. The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to only exacerbate this global crisis. Each year, the U.S. spends billions of dollars in aid to help stop world hunger.

Food security exists when people can access enough food to meet their caloric and nutritional needs for an active and healthy life. We estimate that the U.S. alone spent more than $22 billion on global food security assistance from 2014 through 2018.

In addition, 42 nations and 21 multilateral organizations—including international organizations and development banks—spent over $53 billion in global food security assistance during this same time.

How to Interact With This Map

This interactive map illustrates how global food security assistance funds from around the world were disbursed from 2014-2018.

Use the drop-down menus to select a year, sector, donor, and recipient. Click on any point on the map to see specific information about amounts disbursed to a country.

Source: GAO analysis of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Creditor Reporting System data.

1. Disbursement outflows represent official development assistance—such as grants or loans—provided by official agencies of state and local governments or their executive agencies. These outflows do not include military aid, promotion of donors' security interests, commercial transactions, repayments on loans, or returned funding from unused grant funds.

2. Data do not include assistance provided to territories or multiple recipients, or non-programmable aid such as aid to refugees in the donor country or administrative costs. Data do not include disbursements from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Disbursements for IFAD were not disaggregated in a way that we could identify specific funding to food security sectors, and were not recorded in the OECD's Creditor Reporting System for 2014. Based on IFAD's commitments from 2015 to 2018, which were disaggregated by food security sector, we estimate that IFAD may have disbursed $1.8 billion to food security activities during this time.

3. To identify global food security assistance, we relied on a set of sectors identified by the Group of Seven as constituting food security assistance in the OECD's system. These sectors include agriculture, agro-industries, nutrition, developmental food assistance, emergency food assistance, and fishing. We included additional sectors for school feeding and food security and safety management.

4. The sector "food security and safety management" represents food security policy and administrative management, household food security programs, and food safety and quality. Prior to 2018, OECD's system did not include sectors for school feeding or food security and safety management so these activities were recorded under other available sectors. The OECD added these sectors in 2018, but did not revise data previously recorded.

5. Bilateral (provided by an individual country) donor data do not include core contributions—or non-earmarked funds—to multilateral organizations. Learn more about core contributions in our report.

6. The interactive graphic was updated on November 24, 2020 to reflect corrected mapping coordinates for some countries.

Download data: 

For more information, read our report, GAO-21-47R.