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Europe and Central Asia - Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition 2023

Statistics and trends

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FAO. 2023. Europe and Central Asia – Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition 2023: Statistics and trends. Budapest.

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    Book (series)
    The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2020
    Transforming food systems for affordable healthy diets
    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)
    Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition in Europe and Central Asia 2020
    Affordable healthy diets to address all forms of malnutrition for better health
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    This report consists of two main sections: 1) a situation analysis of Sustainable Development Goal 2 Target 2.1 (to end hunger and ensure access to food by all) and Target 2.2 (to end all forms of malnutrition) and analyses of the diets of children and of current food consumption patterns relative to dietary guidelines; and 2) a special look at the cost and affordability of healthy diets in Europe and Central Asia.The new estimates confirm that the prevalence of hunger at chronic or severe levels is relatively low in the ECA region. However, the prevalence of food insecurity at moderate or severe levels can be quite high. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to add people to the ranks of the food insecure. The ECA region is making progress overall in reducing malnutrition, but it is not on track regarding childhood overweight, adult obesity, anaemia and exclusive breastfeeding. Healthy diets protect against the effects of malnutrition, in all its forms, and promote better health.This report shows that healthy diets cost, on average, five times more than diets that meet only dietary energy needs, making them unaffordable for many people throughout the region. To increase the affordability of healthy diets, the costs of nutritious foods must be lowered. This report also shows that hidden costs are much lower with healthy diets than with current consumption patterns, meaning that adopting healthy diet alternatives could lead to large cost savings.
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    Book (series)
    Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition in Europe and Central Asia 2018
    The role of migration, rural women and youth in sustainable development
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    The Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition in Europe and Central Asia 2018 provides new evidence for monitoring trends in food security and nutrition within the framework of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. The in-depth analysis of progress made against Sustainable Development Goal 2 Target 2.1 (to end hunger and ensure access to food by all) and Target 2.2 (to end all forms of malnutrition), as well as the state of micronutrient deficiencies, is complemented by a review of recent policy measures taken to address food security and nutrition in all its dimensions. The Europe and Central Asia (ECA) region encompasses great economic, social and environmental diversity, and its countries are facing various food security and nutrition challenges. While they have made significant progress in reducing the prevalence of undernourishment over the past two decades, new evidence shows a stagnation of this trend, particularly in Central Asia. Malnutrition in one or more of its three main forms – undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, and overweight and obesity – is present to varying degrees in all countries of the region. Often, all three forms coexist, creating what is called the “triple burden of malnutrition.” Overweight among children and obesity among adults continue to rise – with now almost one-fourth of the region’s adults obese – and constitute a significant concern for future health and well-being and related costs. While poverty levels in most ECA countries have been declining in recent years, poverty coupled with inequality has led to increased vulnerability of disadvantaged groups and populations in rural and remote areas of low- and lower-middle-income countries. New analysis shows that adult women have a higher prevalence of severe food insecurity than men in some areas, pointing to gender inequalities that are reflected in access to food. Addressing gender and other inequalities is key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and heeding the call to “leave no one behind.” The publication’s focus this year is on migration, gender and youth and the linkages with rural development and food security in Europe and Central Asia. Migration is linked in multiple ways to gender, youth, and agricultural and rural development – both as a driver and possible source of development opportunities, with labour migration and remittances playing significant roles in the region. Changing migration processes need to be fully understood to better address the challenges of migration and harness the potential benefits for sustainable development and revitalized rural areas. Governments, public and private institutions, communities and other concerned parties must strengthen collaboration and scale up efforts towards achieving the goals of a thriving, healthy and food-secure region.

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