The GIEWS was established in 1975 to monitor food supply and demand at the global scale and to provide early warning of serious regional food shortages. Information from GIEWS is used to identify impending food security crises so that the UN World Food Programme and other international and national agencies can develop country-specific needs assessments (Figure 5.). GIEWS integrates satellite-derived information on land cover and land use with in situ data on agricultural statistics, livestock, agricultural markets, and weather. GIEWS monitoring is designed to enable direction of ground-based sampling to validate crop production estimates and development of quick, early, partial indemnity for immediate action.
Since 1975, institutional links and information-sharing agreements have been established with several UN organizations, 115 governments, 4 regional organizations and 61 NGOs. Numerous international research institutes, news services, private sector organizations, and specialized government agencies also collaborate. A small unit in FAO’s Rome headquarters is responsible for coordination with participating organizations.