The crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan is still the most pressing humanitarian problem, and the FAO is concerned that "the already precarious food supply situation may worsen if deteriorating security disrupts the main harvest due to start in the coming few weeks".
Furthermore, according to FAO's Crop Prospects and Food Situation report, prospects for the 2006 world cereal harvest have also deteriorated since July.
Exceptionally hot and dry weather is adversely affecting the wheat crops in Australia, Argentina and Brazil, while drier-than-normal weather in parts of South Asia is also raising some concern for the second 2006 paddy crop.
"The main concern is the declining stocks and whether supplies will be adequate to meet demand without world prices surging to even higher levels," said the report.
The reasons for food shortages are varied and complicated. In Darfur, lawlessness has made it incredibly difficult to get food to those that need it.
But there are millions of other people at risk of food shortages because of a wider political failure. The final Doha round of WTO trade talks, which aimed to free global trade by cutting industrial and agricultural tariffs and by reducing farm subsidies, would undoubtedly have helped developing countries by opening up lucrative new markets.
To the detriment of almost everyone though, WTO members refused to budge on issues such as the lowering of tariffs on certain goods this summer. As a result, global barriers to trade and unfair subsidies remain in place to this day.
The irony is that most countries stand to gain significantly from liberalising agricultural trade tariffs. The OECD recently put forward the case yet again that farmers, taxpayers and consumers would benefit from changes to current farm policies.
What's more, it is clear that agricultural tariffs and price support mechanisms do a poor job of providing income support for farm families, encouraging sustainable economic development, maintaining healthy rural communities, and protecting the environment.
A fairer basis for global agricultural trade would not eradicate global food security issues. But it would have enabled the developing world to compete fairly on the global marketplace.
As it is, many agricultural markets in the developed world remain fortresses. This severely restricts the ability of developing countries to trade themselves out of poverty. On World Food Day, the developed world should remember it could have made things fairer.
While the situation in Darfur remains the most critical, elsewhere in Eastern Africa, despite improved prospects for the 2006/07 crops in some areas, floods, erratic rains and conflict-related displacement have negatively affected the food situation. Most of the regions pastoral areas have yet to recover from the successive poor rains that severely affected livestock and resulted in acute food shortages and migration of thousands of people in search of water and food.
In Somalia, a severe food crisis is expected to persist throughout the country for the rest of 2006, affecting at least 1.8 million people. And the majority of the population of the Central African Republic is facing food insecurity following disruption in production and marketing activities as a result of civil strife.
In Zimbabwe, where inflation was officially estimated at 1,205 percent in July 2006 and, according to the International Monetary Fund, is expected to reach over 4,000 percent next year, 1.4 million rural people - about 17 per cent of the total rural population - will not be able to meet their minimum cereal needs during the 2006/07 season.
Reduced food aid and crop damage due to floods in July has increased the severity of food insecurity in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. In Timor-Leste, hundreds of thousands of people affected by civil unrest still need food assistance.
In Iraq, conflict and insecurity continues to displace hundreds of thousands people. Drought and unusually high temperatures have compromised food production in Afghanistan and Armenia. In addition, increased military operations and conflict over the past year in Afghanistan have further exacerbated food insecurity in the country.
Food aid is still being provided to some vulnerable rural families affected by hurricanes during the second half of 2005 in El Salvador and Guatemala. It is also being distributed to populations without access to food in Haiti, Nicaragua and Honduras.