The Global Information and Early Warning System on Food and Agriculture (GIEWS) was established in 1975. GIEWS operates worldwide. It is a part of the Commodities and Trade Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The mandate of GIEWS is to keep the world food supply/demand situation under continuous review, issue reports on the world food situation, and provide early warnings of impending food crises in individual countries. It provides regular bulletins on food crop production and markets at the global level and situation reports on a regional and country-by-country basis. GIEWS warns of imminent food crises, so that timely interventions can be planned and suffering avoided. Publications released by GIEWS are “Food Outlook”, “Foodcrops and Shortages” and “Food Supply Situation and Crop Prospects in Sub-Saharan Africa” as well as numerous Special Alerts and Special Reports. Publications are distributed by mail, internet and e-mail. An interactive map of countries in crisis is also available on the website. Information provided by these products includes for example food market conditions, crop situation, overall food situation and socio-economic context.
Economic, political and agricultural information is received from a wide variety of official and unofficial sources. Institutional links and information-sharing agreements exist 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. Main users of GIEWS are governments, NGOs, research institutions, the international community and the general public.