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Near East and North Africa – Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition, 2022

Statistics and trends











The following complementary information is available:


FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP, WHO, UNESCWA. 2023. Near East and North Africa – Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition, 2022 – Statistics and trends. Cairo.



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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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    Book (series)
    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.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Book (series)
    Near East and North Africa - Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition 2023
    Statstics and trends
    2023
    Also available in:

    The Overview presents the food security and nutrition situation in the Arab States for 2022 when the effects of the war in Ukraine and record-high food and fertilizer prices hit the region that was just recovering from the economic and social shock caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.Consequently, hunger in the Arab States has reached its highest level since 2000. The Arab region continued to suffer from the triple burden of malnutrition: besides undernutrition, child overweight/adult obesity and micronutrient deficiencies, such as anaemia. The prevalences of overweight among children and of anaemia among women are higher than the world average. The downward trend of child stunting has slowed down, and recent high food prices might even reverse it. Furthermore, the cost of a healthy diet in the region has been increasing in recent years, and healthy diets are out of reach for almost every other person in the Arab States.The region’s deteriorating food security and nutrition situation calls for the urgent need to transform agrifood systems, making them more resilient to shocks and emerging crises, more efficient, inclusive and sustainable to reach the Sustainable Development Goal 2 targets.

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