State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2020 (SOFI)

The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2020 (SOFI) report has been released. It is a flagship publication which is part of THE STATE OF THE WORLD series of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The report has been prepared by the FAO Agricultural Development Economics Division in partnership with the Statistics Division of the Economic and Social Development Department and a team of technical experts from FAO, International Fund For Agricultural Development (IFAD), UNICEF, World Food Programme (WFP) and World Health Organization (WHO).

Objective of the report:

The SOFI 2020 includes a special focus on transforming food systems for affordable healthy diets. It also evaluates the cost as well as affordability of healthy diets around the world in various development contexts. It also provides policy recommendations to convert current food systems and enable them to deliver affordable healthy diets for all. It presents fresh analysis on the “hidden” health and climate-change costs which is related with our current food consumption patterns and the cost savings if we shift towards healthy diets that include sustainability considerations.

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Key findings of the report:

  • According to the report, around 8.3 crore to 13 crore people globally are likely to go hungry in 2020 due to the economic recession triggered by COVID-19 pandemic.
  • It also indicates that almost 69 crore people went hungry in 2019, up by 1 crore in 2018.
  • It states that hunger continues to be on the rise since 2014 while the overall percentage of hungry people is 8.9%.
  • It also mentioned that Asia remained the home to the greatest number of undernourished (38 crore) while Africa is second (25 crore), followed by Latin America and the Caribbean (4.8 crore).
  • As per the current estimates, about 21.3% (14.4.crore) of children under 5 years were stunted, 6.9% (4.7 crore) wasted and 5.6% (3.8 million) overweight in year 2019.
  • It also shows that the healthy diet costs more than Rs 143 per day (or $1.90/ day), which is the international poverty threshold.
  • The number of people worldwide who can’t afford a healthy diet is at 300 crore people.
  • It also revealed that around 2 billion people in the world did not have regular access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food in 2019.

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The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2020 (SOFI) report concludes that the world is not on track to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030 and if the recent trends continues, the number of people affected by hunger would cross the mark of 840 million by 2030. It also stated that world will not achieve the 2025 and 2030 targets for child stunting and low birthweight, and also for exclusive breastfeeding.

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