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Asia and the Pacific – Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition 2021

Statistics and trends











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FAO and UNICEF. 2021. Asia and the Pacific – Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition 2021: Statistics and trends. Bangkok, FAO. 



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    Book (series)
    Asia and the Pacific Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition 2020
    Maternal and child diets at the heart of improving nutrition
    2021
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    The 2020 report on the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the Asia and Pacific region, provides an update on progress towards the 2030 targets (SDGs and WHA) at the regional and country level. Selected indicators look at undernourishment, food insecurity, childhood stunting, wasting and overweight, adult overweight, child minimum acceptable diet, exclusive and continued breastfeeding, and anaemia in women and children. While the region continues to work towards ending all forms of malnutrition and achieving Zero Hunger, progress on food security and nutrition has slowed, and the Asia and Pacific region is not on track to achieving 2030 targets. About 350.6 million people in the Asia and Pacific region are estimated to have been undernourished in 2019, about 51 percent of the global total. An estimated 74.5 million children under five years of age were stunted and a total of 31.5 million were wasted in the Asia and Pacific region. The majority of these children in the region live in Southern Asia with 55.9 million stunted and 25.2 million wasted children. Estimates predict a 14.3 percent increase in the prevalence of moderate or severe wasting among children under 5 years of age, equal to an additional 6.7 million children, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With basic food prices and disposable incomes influencing household decisions on food and dietary intake, they are critical to improve food security and nutrition in the region. However, in the Asia and Pacific region, 1.9 billion people are unable to afford a healthy diet, driven by high prices of fruits, vegetables and dairy products, making it impossible for the poor to achieve healthy diets. In Part 2, the 2020 report promotes a systems approach to healthy maternal and child diets, involving and coordinating institutions and actors in the Food, Water and Sanitation, Health, Social Protection and Education systems, to collectively create the enabling environment for healthy diets. Integration of healthy diets and nutrition-focused Social Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) mainstreamed throughout these systems will lead to greater uptake and sustainability of healthy behaviours and caregiver’s knowledge.
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    Book (series)
    Asia and the Pacific – Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition, 2022
    Statistics and trends
    2023
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    This is the fifth edition of the Asia and the Pacific Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition annual report. This publication is led by FAO’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (RAP) and jointly contributed to by United Nations' partner agencies (UNICEF, WFP, WHO), on the region’s progress (or lack thereof) to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (in particular SDG 2 – Ending Hunger) and the World Health Assembly (WHA) 2030 targets on food security and nutrition. In recent years, previous editions reported that progress was stalling, then regressing and then more recently pushing us further off track. This reverse was evident even before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in 2020. The decline continued and worsened during the pandemic and the data is captured in this report. Updated estimates on the cost and affordability of a healthy diet show that nearly 45 percent of the region’s population cannot afford one. Reducing the cost of a healthy diet and making it more affordable is a critical element for achieving ending hunger (SDG2) and also the other SDGs. This year’s report also looks closely at food security and nutrition in urban areas which will increasingly contribute to the progress in SDG indicators as the proportion of the urban population across the region is set to cross 50 percent in this decade.
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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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