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The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2020

Transforming food systems for affordable healthy diets











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Last updated date 15/10/2021


FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP and WHO. 2020. The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2020. Transforming food systems for affordable healthy diets. Rome, FAO.






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    Africa - Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition 2023
    Statistics and trends
    2023
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    Africa is facing a food crisis of unprecedented proportions. Millions are expected to be at risk of worsening hunger in the near future due to the rippling effects of the war in Ukraine, which are compounding the devastating impacts that conflicts, climate variability and extremes, economic slowdowns and downturns, and the aftereffects of the COVID-19 pandemic are having on the most vulnerable. In this context, social and gender inequalities are also on the rise, with women and girls being among the most affected by these shocks.Despite efforts made in several countries, the African continent is not on track to meet the food security and nutrition targets of the Sustainable Development Goal 2 on Zero Hunger for 2030, and certainly the Malabo targets of ending hunger and all forms of malnutrition by 2025. The most recent estimates show that nearly 282 million people in Africa (about 20 percent of the population) were undernourished in 2022, an increase of 57 million people since the COVID-19 pandemic began. About 868 million people were moderately or severely food-insecure and more than one-third of them – 342 million people – were severely food-insecure.The present edition of the report presents the latest analysis of the prevalence and trends in undernourishment, food insecurity, and malnutrition. In addition, it includes, for the first time, estimates of the cost and affordability of a healthy diet, which are useful indicators of people’s economic access to nutritious foods and healthy diets.The deterioration of the food security situation and the lack of progress towards the WHO global nutrition targets make it imperative for countries to step up their efforts ifthey are to achieve a world without hunger and malnutrition by 2030. The call for greater action remains true in view of the projected lower rate of economic growth, high general andfood price inflation, and raising borrowing costs on domestic and international markets since 2022.
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    Book (series)
    The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2021
    Transforming food systems for food security, improved nutrition and affordable healthy diets for all
    2021
    In recent years, several major drivers have put the world off track to ending world hunger and malnutrition in all its forms by 2030. The challenges have grown with the COVID-19 pandemic and related containment measures. This report presents the first global assessment of food insecurity and malnutrition for 2020 and offers some indication of what hunger might look like by 2030 in a scenario further complicated by the enduring effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also includes new estimates of the cost and affordability of healthy diets, which provide an important link between the food security and nutrition indicators and the analysis of their trends. Altogether, the report highlights the need for a deeper reflection on how to better address the global food security and nutrition situation.To understand how hunger and malnutrition have reached these critical levels, this report draws on the analyses of the past four editions, which have produced a vast, evidence-based body of knowledge of the major drivers behind the recent changes in food security and nutrition. These drivers, which are increasing in frequency and intensity, include conflicts, climate variability and extremes, and economic slowdowns and downturns – all exacerbated by the underlying causes of poverty and very high and persistent levels of inequality. In addition, millions of people around the world suffer from food insecurity and different forms of malnutrition because they cannot afford the cost of healthy diets. From a synthesized understanding of this knowledge, updates and additional analyses are generated to create a holistic view of the combined effects of these drivers, both on each other and on food systems, and how they negatively affect food security and nutrition around the world.In turn, the evidence informs an in-depth look at how to move from silo solutions to integrated food systems solutions. In this regard, the report proposes transformative pathways that specifically address the challenges posed by the major drivers, also highlighting the types of policy and investment portfolios required to transform food systems for food security, improved nutrition, and affordable healthy diets for all. The report observes that, while the pandemic has caused major setbacks, there is much to be learned from the vulnerabilities and inequalities it has laid bare. If taken to heart, these new insights and wisdom can help get the world back on track towards the goal of ending hunger, food insecurity, and malnutrition in all its forms.
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    Book (series)
    Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition in Europe and Central Asia 2020
    Affordable healthy diets to address all forms of malnutrition for better health
    2021
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    This report consists of two main sections: 1) a situation analysis of Sustainable Development Goal 2 Target 2.1 (to end hunger and ensure access to food by all) and Target 2.2 (to end all forms of malnutrition) and analyses of the diets of children and of current food consumption patterns relative to dietary guidelines; and 2) a special look at the cost and affordability of healthy diets in Europe and Central Asia.The new estimates confirm that the prevalence of hunger at chronic or severe levels is relatively low in the ECA region. However, the prevalence of food insecurity at moderate or severe levels can be quite high. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to add people to the ranks of the food insecure. The ECA region is making progress overall in reducing malnutrition, but it is not on track regarding childhood overweight, adult obesity, anaemia and exclusive breastfeeding. Healthy diets protect against the effects of malnutrition, in all its forms, and promote better health.This report shows that healthy diets cost, on average, five times more than diets that meet only dietary energy needs, making them unaffordable for many people throughout the region. To increase the affordability of healthy diets, the costs of nutritious foods must be lowered. This report also shows that hidden costs are much lower with healthy diets than with current consumption patterns, meaning that adopting healthy diet alternatives could lead to large cost savings.

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