SOFI 2018 Reveals New Challenges to Achieving Zero Hunger by 2030
This month, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations released its annual flagship report on the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI). This is in line with its decision to monitor and inform on progress towards achieving the food security and nutrition targets set by the 2030 Agenda. The latest SOFI report reveals new challenges on the road to Zero Hunger, while setting out urgent actions needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger (SDG2) by 2030.
Here are some key highlights from the report:
A rise in world Hunger
New evidence in SOFI 2018 confirms that the number of people who suffer from hunger has been growing over the past three years, returning to levels from almost a decade ago. This means the number of undernourished people in the world has been on the rise since 2014, reaching an estimated 821 million in 2017 from around 804 million in 2016. Multiple forms of malnutrition are evident in many countries – adult obesity is growing even as forms of under-nutrition persist. The situation is worsening in South America and most regions of Africa.
Progress in improving nutrition but not in anaemia
There is still a long road ahead to achieve the 2025 and 2030 targets for stunting, wasting, overweight, exclusive breastfeeding, anaemia in women and adult obesity. While the report shows that there has been progress in child stunting and exclusive breastfeeding, anaemia among women of reproductive age is not improving. One in three women of reproductive age globally is still affected by anaemia, with significant health and development consequences for both women and their children.
Overweight children vs adult obesity
In the last five years, the global proportion of overweight children remains relatively stagnant. Meanwhile, adult obesity is worsening. Poor access to food and particularly healthy food contributes to undernutrition as well as overweight and obesity. Adult obesity is highest in Northern America and the rate of increase in adult obesity is also the highest there. While Africa and Asia continue to have the lowest rates of obesity, an increasing trend can also be observed.
Climate extremes and Volatile rise in food prices fuels hunger rise
While last year SOFI pinpointed conflict and violence in several parts of the world as one of the main drivers of hunger and food insecurity, new evidence in this year’s report highlights that beside conflicts, climate variability and extremes are also a key force behind the recent rise in global hunger. They are also one of the leading causes of severe food crises, given the sensitivity of agriculture to climate and the primary role of the sector as a source of food and livelihoods for the rural poor. Another factor causing the rise in global hunger is spike in food prices and volatility. The impact of price volatility falls heaviest on net food buyers, which are not only the urban poor, but also small-scale food producers, agriculture labourers and the rural poor.
You can read more about the findings of the report here