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Food security and the environment







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    Book (series)
    The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2014 (SOFIA)
    Opportunities and challenges
    2014
    In a world where more than 800 million continue to suffer from chronic malnourishment and where the global population is expected to grow by another 2 billion to reach 9.6 billion people by 2050 – with a concentration in coastal urban areas – we must meet the huge challenge of feeding our planet while safeguarding its natural resources for future generations. This new edition of The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA) highlights the significant role that fisheries and aquaculture plays in eliminating hunger, promoting health and reducing poverty. Never before have people consumed so much fish or depended so greatly on the sector for their well-being. Fish is extremely nutritious – a vital source of protein and essential nutrients, especially for many poorer members of our global community. Fisheries and aquaculture is a source not just of health but also of wealth. Employment in the sector has grown faster than the world’s population. The sector provi des jobs to tens of millions and supports the livelihoods of hundreds of millions. Fish continues to be one of the most-traded food commodities worldwide. It is especially important for developing countries, sometimes worth half the total value of their traded commodities.
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    Document
    Resilient Livelihoods for Agriculture and Food and Nutrition Security in Areas Affected by the Syria Crisis 2014
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    The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is closely monitoring the impact of the Syria crisis on food security, nutrition, agriculture and livelihoods in Syria and neighbouring Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt. Assessments carried out across the affected subregion indicate that threats to food security and livelihoods are severe and growing steadily. In addition to rendering over half of Syrians poor and nearly a third food insecure, the crisis is eroding the ver y foundations of food and livelihood security in what was once a middle-income country, with a relatively high employment rate (92 percent) and growing agriculture sector. Syria’s food chain is disintegrating – from production to markets – and entire livelihood systems are collapsing. The conflict also is severely affecting economic, social and human development in neighbouring countries. With most of Syria’s 2.6 million refugees living outside of camps, host communities face intense competition for resources such as land, water and income opportunities, while costs for housing, food and other commodities soar. The humanitarian appeals for Syria and neighbouring countries are the largest in history: USD 4.4 billion in 2013 and USD 6.5 billion in 2014. As the crisis shows no sign of abating, a resilience-based approach is proving ever more crucial to meet immediate needs while helping affected populations – and the systems which support them – better absorb, adapt and recover from curr ent and future shocks emanating from the crisis. Such an approach, combining emergency and development efforts, is indispensable in the context of food and livelihood security. Behind each family pushed into poverty and hunger, systems are collapsing which need to be protected, restored and strengthened. A holistic approach is needed not only to deliver crisisaffected populations from aid dependency, but also to prevent hunger and poverty from increasing and becoming endemic. FAO’s “Resilient Livelihoods for Agriculture and Food and Nutrition Security in Areas Affected by the Syria Crisis” is a five-year Subregional Strategy and Action Plan, budgeted at USD 280 million – just over a tenth of the value of agricultural losses suffered in Syria by 2012. The Strategy is a dynamic document developed over the course of agricultural programming missions to the subregion in late 2013 and early 2014, which build on rapid agricultural livelihood and food security impact assessments and initia l response plans prepared during the first quarter of 2013. With the aim to protect, restore and strengthen livelihoods and the agro-ecosystems on which livelihoods depend, the Strategy tailors short-, medium- and longer-term actions to address specific needs of the main groups affected by the crisis, including Syrian internally displaced persons (IDPs) and affected populations, refugees, returnees, host communities and national and local authorities. Activities focus on seven priority areas, which can be broadly categorized as: (i) control of transboundary animal diseases (TADs); (ii) control of plant pests and diseases; (iii) food security and natural resource information systems, disaster risk management and policy development; (iv) rural and peri-urban income generation and employment; (v) agricultural production; (vi) natural resource management; and (vii) food safety and nutrition. The Strategy aligns with national government priorities and existing regional frameworks for add ressing the Syria crisis and calls for close partnership with affected communities, national institutions, United Nations (UN) agencies, non-state actors and private-sector organizations. Agriculture cannot be an afterthought. Affected populations in the subregion need effective responses to the challenges threatening their food security and livelihoods. A resilience-based approach delivers this, while better preserving the integrity of lives, livelihoods, natural resources and critical develop ment gains achieved over the past decades.
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    Book (series)
    2018 Asia and the Pacific Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition
    Accelerating progress towards the SDGs
    2018
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    During the last three years, progress at reducing undernourishment has slowed tremendously in Asia and the Pacific. After years of gains in combatting hunger, progress has stagnated in all parts of this vast region. Despite decades of economic growth, nearly half a billion people remain undernourished. Children, in particular, continue to face the burden of malnutrition – this region is home to more than half of the world’s malnourished children – with one child in every four below the age of five suffering from stunting. This is a colossal human loss, given the association between undernutrition and poor cognitive development, with severe lifelong consequences for these children. At the same time, and almost paradoxically, Asia and the Pacific has witnessed rapid growth in the number of overweight children and the serious consequences that entails for their future health and well-being. This double burden of malnutrition sees undernourished and overweight children living in the same communities and households and it can even occur within the same child. Efforts to fight hunger and malnutrition must go hand in hand with those to build and sustain peace and there is an urgent need to accelerate and scale up actions that strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity of people and their livelihoods to climate variability and extremes. As migration from rural to urban areas continues apace, particularly involving poorer families, urban malnutrition is another challenge facing many countries. In summary, what is becoming increasingly clear is that the world cannot meet the 2030 target of zero hunger if Asia and the Pacific – the world’s most populous region – is not leading the way. It is a hard reality but one that must be faced with a united determination to turn things around. For the first time, four UN agencies have come together to jointly assess the state of food security and nutrition in Asia and the Pacific. Together, we hope that the findings of this report will contribute to a more informed dialogue. Without doubt, all stakeholders must make much greater efforts to accelerate progress toward the goals of a healthy and hunger-free Asia and the Pacific. Action is needed now. The sense of urgency cannot be overstated.

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