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Today, the latest edition of the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) report launched in New York. Authored by the five authoring UN agencies FAO, WFP, UNICEF, IFAD and WHO, the SOFI report publishes the latest figures on the world’s progress to end hunger and all forms of malnutrition while providing in depth analysis on key challenges to achieving good food for all.
This year, the report offers the first analysis of data from the impacts of Covid-19. The results show a dramatic rise in the rates of food insecurity and malnutrition in all its forms.
"Globally, the world is not on track to achieve targets for any of the nutrition indicators by 2030.” The impact of Covid-19 comes on top of the major drivers of rising food insecurity since 2014, including conflict, climate variability and extremes, economic downturns, and the unaffordability of diets."
- 118 million more people faced hunger in 2020 than in 2019
- Close to 12% of the global population - 928 million people - were severely food insecure in 2020
- Around 660 million people may still face hunger in 2030 - 30 million more people than in a scenario in which the pandemic had not occurred
- Nearly 1 in 3 people (2.37 billion) did not have access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food in 2020 - an increase of almost 320 million people in just one year
COVID-19 is estimated to have long lasting effects which will be compounded through the intergenerational effects of malnutrition.
The burden of malnutrition remains a global challenge.
- 22% of children under 5 years of age were affected by stunting, 6.7% were suffering from wasting, and 5.7% were overweight
- Asia and Africa account for more than 9 out of 10 children with stunting and wasting
Healthy diets are unaffordable to many, especially the poor, in every region.
- 3 billion people are unable to afford a healthy diet.
- High income inequality contributes to keeping healthy diets out of reach
Recommendations: Solutions which address multiple drivers of food insecurity and malnutrition as well as a systems view are necessary to transform the food system. A few suggested from the report:
- Build resilient and conflict-sensitive food systems
- Keep food supply chains operational during economic slowdowns and downturns while providing adequate support to the livelihoods of the most vulnerable
- Reduce income inequality and empower historically marginalized populations to become agents of change towards more sustainable food systems
- Create context-specific policies, investments and legislation which provide comprehensive approaches to transforming food systems while minimizing trade-offs