Changes in climate drive food insecurity in 2017

Global increases in world hunger are largely driven by the effects of a changing climate, says the SOFI 2018 report. This year’s report finds that climate variability and extremes are significantly impacting food access and availability as well as livelihoods and food systems, threatening recent progress made against SDG2. 

The recently launchedThe State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World: Building Climate Change, Resilience and Nutrition, or SOFI 2018, is an annual report measuring progress on SDG2. This year’s report highlights an alarming trend of hunger continuing to rise with an estimated 821 million people now undernourished, increasing from 815 million people in 2016. 

SOFI Hunger rising

Source: SOFI 2018 

While hunger continues to affect food security, this year’s report highlights the effects of climate variability (i.e. changes in temperature or rainfall) and extremes (leading to drought, floods, storms etc.) on food access and availability as well as livelihoods and food systems.  The SOFI 2018 report finds that hunger is strikingly worse in agrarian countries that are dependent on rainfall or experience drought. 


Exposure to more complex, frequent and intense climate extremes is threatening to erode and reverse gains made in ending hunger and malnutrition. Here are some of the key figures: 

SOFI Nutrition targets

Source: SOFI 2018

With these disquieting trends in mind, SOFI 2018 highlights the need for accelerated and scaled up action to strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity of food systems, people's livelihoods and nutrition in response to climate variability and extremes. More urgent work must be done to ensure we "leave no one behind" on the road towards the SDG goals on food security and nutrition. 

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