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Asia and the Pacific Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition 2020

Maternal and child diets at the heart of improving nutrition












FAO, UNICEF, WFP and WHO. 2021. Asia and the Pacific Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition 2020: Maternal and child diets at the heart of improving nutrition. Bangkok, FAO.




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    Book (series)
    Asia and the Pacific - Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition 2023
    Statistics and Trends
    2023
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    This digital report is an update on the statistics and trends of the fifth edition of the Asia and the Pacific Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition annual report published by FAO’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (RAP). It reports on the region’s latest food security and nutrition situation highlighting progress (or lack thereof) on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (in particular SDG 2 – Ending Hunger) and the World Health Assembly (WHA) 2030 targets on food security and nutrition. The latest statistics indicate that the region, with 370.7 million undernourished people, continues to represent half of the world’s figure. Similarly, the Asia and the Pacific region accounts for half of the world’s severe food insecurity, with more women than men being food-insecure. Prevalence rates on stunting, wasting and overweight among children under 5 years of age, as well as anaemia among women of reproductive age, are still off the marks in terms of World Health Assembly global nutrition targets. In 2021, the average cost of a healthy diet in Asia and the Pacific was estimated at 4.15 PPP dollars per person per day, representing a 5.3 percent increase in the cost of healthy diet, from 3.94 PPP dollars in 2020. It is estimated that in 2021, 232.8 million people in the region could not afford the cost of a healthy diet. These statistics reaffirm the need for whole-of-government, well-coordinated and integrated actions and investments towards agrifood systems transformation if we are to turn the tide and put the countries back on track to meeting the 2030 SDG agenda.
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    Book (series)
    The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2020
    Transforming food systems for affordable healthy diets
    2020
    Updates for many countries have made it possible to estimate hunger in the world with greater accuracy this year. In particular, newly accessible data enabled the revision of the entire series of undernourishment estimates for China back to 2000, resulting in a substantial downward shift of the series of the number of undernourished in the world. Nevertheless, the revision confirms the trend reported in past editions: the number of people affected by hunger globally has been slowly on the rise since 2014. The report also shows that the burden of malnutrition in all its forms continues to be a challenge. There has been some progress for child stunting, low birthweight and exclusive breastfeeding, but at a pace that is still too slow. Childhood overweight is not improving and adult obesity is on the rise in all regions.The report complements the usual assessment of food security and nutrition with projections of what the world may look like in 2030, if trends of the last decade continue. Projections show that the world is not on track to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030 and, despite some progress, most indicators are also not on track to meet global nutrition targets. The food security and nutritional status of the most vulnerable population groups is likely to deteriorate further due to the health and socio economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.The report puts a spotlight on diet quality as a critical link between food security and nutrition. Meeting SDG 2 targets will only be possible if people have enough food to eat and if what they are eating is nutritious and affordable. The report also introduces new analysis of the cost and affordability of healthy diets around the world, by region and in different development contexts. It presents valuations of the health and climate-change costs associated with current food consumption patterns, as well as the potential cost savings if food consumption patterns were to shift towards healthy diets that include sustainability considerations. The report then concludes with a discussion of the policies and strategies to transform food systems to ensure affordable healthy diets, as part of the required efforts to end both hunger and all forms of malnutrition.
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    Book (series)
    Near East and North Africa – Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition 2022
    Trade as an enabler for food security and nutrition
    2023
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    This year’s report presents evidence that Arab States face significant challenges in achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2 targets related to hunger, food security, and nutrition, as undernourishment, moderate or severe food insecurity, and malnourishment are increasing. Child wasting and overweight are higher, and adult obesity is double the global average. LDCs and conflict-affected countries suffer from even more severe hunger and malnutrition, including child stunting, wasting, and women’s anaemia. The report also provides the first assessment of the cost and affordability of a healthy diet since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which shows a growing trend in the price of nutritious diets in recent years and that more than half the Arab population cannot afford a healthy diet. The Ukraine crisis, which has triggered food shortages and increased food price inflation, further adds to the burden on the region. This year, the report focuses on how trade can enable regional food security and nutrition. Arab countries rely significantly on imports for the essential food items necessary for diverse and healthy diets that they cannot locally produce in sufficient quantities due to limited natural resource endowments. It discusses the role of trade and trade facilitation as essential enablers of all four dimensions of food security and nutrition. It also underlines how tariffs and non-tariff measures influence the economic access to food in the area. On the other hand, countries that depend on trade may become more exposed to outside shocks, as the pandemic and the Ukraine crisis have highlighted. The report assesses Arab countries’ vulnerabilities, such as import dependency and lack of supplier diversification. To reduce the exposure to such external shocks, international trade must be carefully managed, sources of imports should be diversified, and international trade relations must be expanded to include new partners and markets. The report concludes with further policy recommendations that aim for the better integration of trade into food security and nutrition policies in the region.

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