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Summary of Proceedings of the International Scientific Symposium on Measurement and Assessment of Food Deprivation and Undernutrition

Rome, 26-28 June 2002








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    Refinements to the FAO methodology for estimating the prevalence of undernourishment indicator 2014
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    The FAO prevalence of undernourishment (PoU) indicator monitors progress towards Millennium Development Goal target 1C of halving, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people suffering from hunger. Estimates of the number of undernourished (NoU) - calculated by multiplying the PoU by the size of the reference population - are used to monitor progress towards the World Food Summit goal of reducing by half the number of people suffering from undernourishment. The PoU indicator is defined a s the probability that a randomly selected individual from the reference population is found to consume less than his/her calorie requirement for an active and healthy life. This paper reports on refinements to the methodology for estimating the Prevalence of Undernourishment that were adopted during the preparation of the State of Food Insecurity in the World Report 2014. The paper reviews the method adopted for selecting the functional form of the probability density function for the calculati on of the PoU, which uses a data-driven criterion. It proposes revised methods for estimating the variability (CV) and asymmetry (SK) parameters from available household survey, based on a leave-out-one cross validation approach. This approach is shown to be more conservative and stable across different country datasets than alternative methods. Following, the paper describes a regression approach for controlling for excess variability due to differences between food acquisition and consumptio n in surveys, which allows for a seasonality adjustment. Finally, the paper introduces an updated regression for computing variability measures in the absence of reliable household surveys, which incorporates the effect of food prices along with those of per capita income levels and inequality.
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    The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2013
    The multiple dimensions of food security
    2013
    The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2013 presents updated estimates of undernourishment and progress towards the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) and World Food Summit (WFS) hunger targets. The latest assessment shows that further progress has been made towards the 2015 MDG target, which remains within reach for the developing regions as a whole, although marked differences across regions persist and considerable and immediate additional efforts will be needed. The 2013 report goes b eyond measuring food deprivation. It presents a broader suite of indicators that aim to capture the multidimensional nature of food insecurity, its determinants and outcomes. This suite, compiled for every country, allows a more nuanced picture of their food security status, guiding policy-makers in the design and implementation of targeted and effective policy measures that can contribute to the eradication of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition. Drawing on the suite of indicators, th e report also examines the diverse experiences of six countries in more detail, finding a mixed picture of progress and setbacks. Together, these country experiences show the importance of social protection and nutrition-enhancing interventions, policies to increase agricultural productivity and rural development, diverse sources of income and long-term commitment to mainstreaming food security and nutrition in public policies and programmes.
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    Book (series)
    The state of food insecurity in the world 2001 2001
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    Now in its third issue, The State of Food Insecurity in the World reports on global and national efforts to reach the goal set by the 1996 World Food Summit: to reduce by half the number of undernourished people in the world by the year 2015. The crafters of the Summit Plan of Action felt that great progress could be made towards this objective if countries could focus on the following three questions: Who are the food-insecure? Where are they located? Why are they food-insecure? These thr ee questions form the subject of the first section of this year's report. Entitled Undernourishment around the world, it provides FAO's most recent estimates of the prevalence of undernourishment and the absolute number of undernourished in 125 countries for the period 1997-99. The section "Assessing nutritional status and vulnerability" describes practical methods that have either been used in the past or are currently being developed in different countries to identify segments of the populatio n exhibiting physical signs of malnutrition and, subsequently, to analyse the livelihoods of the people concerned so as to address the income risks underlying their vulnerability. These patterns of hunger and vulnerability are greatly complicated by continuing severe national shocks from natural and human-induced disasters and from the ballooning menace of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The section of "The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2001, Action against undernutrition and poverty," provid es some illustrative answers to a fourth question: What can be done? Among the actions proposed are the more accurate targeting of food aid, and measures to improve access to clean water - both essential factors for assuring people the basic energy and health to participate in creating a better future for themselves.

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