The World Food Security Outlook (WFSO) database, provided by the World Bank Development Economics Data Group and the Agriculture Global Practice, tracks and analyzes global food security. It includes historical, preliminary, and forecast data on severe food insecurity worldwide.
Key components of the WFSO database cover severe food insecurity prevalence, estimates for countries lacking official data, population sizes of the severely food insecure, and required safety net financing. Data is presented in a user-friendly format.
WFSO data primarily relies on hunger and malnutrition data from the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) report, led by the Food and agriculture Organization (FAO) in collaboration with multiple UN agencies. WFSO complements SOFI data by providing estimates for unreported countries. Historical estimates are produced with a World Bank machine learning model leveraging World Development Indicators (WDI) for global coverage.
Financing needs for safety nets are calculated similarly to past approaches by the International Development Association (IDA) to assess food insecurity response needs. Preliminary estimates and projections rely on the same model and incorporate IMF's World Economic Outlook (WEO) growth and inflation forecasts. WEO data reflects the IMF's expert analysis from various sources, including government agencies, central banks, and international organizations.
Minor gaps in WDI data inflation data are replaced with unofficial WEO estimates. Minor inflation data gaps not covered by both, are replaced with unofficial inflation estimates from the World Bank's Real-Time Food Prices (RTFP) data.
The WFSO is updated three times a year, coinciding with IMF's WEO and SOFI releases. It provides food security projections that align with economic forecasts, aiding policymakers in integrating food security into economic planning.
The WFSO database serves various purposes, aiding World Bank economists and researchers in economic analysis, policy recommendations, and the assessment of global financing needs to address food insecurity.
Additionally, the WFSO enhances transparency in global food security data by tracking regional and global figures and breaking them down by individual countries. Historical estimates support research and long-term trend assessments, especially in the context of relating outlooks to past food security crises.
Kind of Data
Process-produced data [pro]
Unit of Analysis
WFSO October 2023
Based on the IMF's World Economic Outlook of October 2023.
Fragility, Conflict and Violence
Geographic Coverage notes
191 countries and territories mutually included by the World Bank's WDI and IMF's WEO databases.
Producers and sponsors
Bo Pieter Johannes Andree
Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development as part of the World Bank’s Food Systems 2030 Multi-Donor Trust Fund
TF073570 and TF0C0728
Maintenance of model outlook
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
Source of primary data
Dates of Data Collection
Disclaimer and copyrights
For details on the terms and conditions for usage of the WFSO database, please refer to the license details.