The 2021 Global Report on Food Crises (GRFC 2021) highlights the remarkably high severity and numbers of people in Crisis or worse (IPC/CH Phase 3 or above) or equivalent in 55 countries/territories, driven by persistent conflict, pre-existing and COVID-19-related economic shocks, and weather extremes. The number identified in the 2021 edition is the highest in the report’s five-year existence. While conflict continues to displace people, disrupt livelihoods and damage economies, the COVID-19 pandemic and related containment measures have exacerbated pre-existing drivers of fragility, widened inequalities and exposed structural vulnerabilities of local and global food systems, hitting the most economically vulnerable households particularly hard. The shocks come amid the frequent threat of weather extremes that result in crop and livestock losses, destroy homes and displace people. Together and separately, such shocks – especially when persistent or recurrent – drive millions of people to lose their livelihoods and lack adequate food. These shocks also increase the risk of all forms of malnutrition, and, in the most extreme cases, cause death.