Report

2019 The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World

Published by
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
World Food Programme (WFP)
World Health Organization (WHO)
,
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
Published
Topic(s)
Humanitarian Sectors - Food Security
Humanitarian Sectors - Nutrition

Two years ago, this annual report was transformed to meet the needs of a new era in monitoring the progress made towards achieving a world without hunger and malnutrition in all its forms, within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To provide better guidance on how to meet the challenges of the changing world, the report was also expanded to include an in-depth thematic analysis on the underlying factors and drivers behind the observed food security and nutrition trends, and to link progress towards improved food security and nutrition with other SDGs.

This year the report takes another step forward by reporting, for the first time, another indicator of the global SDG monitoring framework: the prevalence of moderate or severe food insecurity based on the Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES). The 2030 Agenda, by including this indicator, recognizes that food insecurity is more than hunger. The Zero Hunger goal aims not simply to “eradicate hunger”, but also to “ensure access by all people […] to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round” (SDG Target 2.1) and to “eradicate all forms of malnutrition” (SDG Target 2.2). The report thus reflects a more comprehensive approach to monitoring progress towards eliminating hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition and to understanding the interrelationships between them.

Previous editions of this report identified that conflict, climate variability and extremes, and economic slowdowns were behind the recent rise in hunger.  This year the report looks closely at the third key driver, economic slowdowns, broadening the focus to also include economic downturns. This report calls for action on two fronts: the first, safeguarding food security and nutrition through economic and social policies that help counteract the effects of economic slowdowns or downturns, including guaranteeing funding of social safety nets and ensuring universal access to health and education; and, the second, tackling existing inequalities at all levels through multisectoral policies that make it possible to more sustainably escape from food insecurity and malnutrition.