The SOFI 2021 report also focused on complementary food system solutions that address the key drivers of food insecurity and malnutrition, i.e. conflict, climate variability and extremes, economic slowdowns and downturns, and COVID-19, and that ensure access to affordable healthy diets for all. It will look in-depth at six transformative pathways to achieve this, drawing upon best practices and lessons learned from around the world.
The report was presented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the United Nations Children's Fund, the World Food Programme and the World Health Organization.
- Moderator: Lana Wong
- Video (3’) Munir Akram, Host and President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council
- QU Dongyu, Director-General, FAO
- Henrietta H. Fore, Executive Director, UNICEF
- David Beasley, Executive Director, WFP
- Zsuzsanna Jakab, Deputy Director-General, WHO
- Dominik Ziller, Vice-President, IFAD
- Agnes Kalibata, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit Máximo Torero Cullen, FAO Chief-Economist
FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP and WHO. 2021. The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World
2021.Transforming food systems for food security, improved nutrition and affordable healthy diets for all. Rome, FAO 240 p.
In recent years, several major drivers have put the world off track to ending world hunger and malnutrition in all its forms by 2030. The challenges have grown with the COVID-19 pandemic and related containment measures. This report presents the first global assessment of food insecurity and malnutrition for 2020 and offers some indication of what hunger might look like by 2030 in a scenario further complicated by the enduring effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also includes new estimates of the cost and affordability of healthy diets, which provide an important link between the food security and nutrition indicators and the analysis of their trends. Altogether, the report highlights the need for a deeper reflection on how to better address the global food security and nutrition situation.
Global hunger increased under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic - Between 720 and 811 million people faced hunger in 2020 – as many as 161million more than in 2019.
The pandemic heightened the challenge of eradicating hunger - More than 650 million may still be facing hunger in 2030, including tens of millions linked to possible lasting effects of the pandemic.
Nearly 2.4 billion people in the world lacked access to adequate food in 2020 - The increase in moderate or severe food insecurity in 2020 equalled that of the previous five years combined.
Healthy diets are out of reach for around 3 billion people - The increased cost of healthy diets and high levels of income inequality put healthy diets further out of reach in Africa and in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The world is not on track to achieve global nutrition targets - Some progress has been made, but the effects of the pandemic on nutrition will cause setbacks.
In terms of population, it is estimated that between 720 and 811 million people in the world faced hunger in 2020. Considering the middle of the projected range (768 million), 118 million more people were facing hunger in 2020 than in 2019, with estimates ranging from 70 to 161 million. Close to 12 percent of the global population was severely food insecure in 2020, representing 928 million people – 148 million more than in 2019. Globally, malnutrition in all its forms also remains a challenge. Although, it is not yet possible to fully account for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic due to data limitations, in 2020 it is estimated that 22.0 percent (149.2 million) of children under 5 years of age were affected by stunting, 6.7 percent (45.4 million) were suffering from wasting and 5.7 percent (38.9 million) were overweight.
To understand how hunger and malnutrition have reached these critical levels, this report draws on the analyses of the past four editions, which have produced a vast, evidence-based body of knowledge of the major drivers behind the recent changes in food security and nutrition. These drivers, which are increasing in frequency and intensity, include conflicts, climate variability and extremes, and economic slowdowns and downturns – all exacerbated by the underlying causes of poverty and very high and persistent levels of inequality. In addition, millions of people around the world suffer from food insecurity and different forms of malnutrition because they cannot afford the cost of healthy diets. From a synthesized understanding of this knowledge, updates and additional analyses are generated to create a holistic view of the combined effects of these drivers, both on each other and on food systems, and how they negatively affect food security and nutrition around the world.