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FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean

Panorama of Food and Nutritional Security in Latin America and the Caribbean 2017

Key messages

  • Undernourishment in Latin America and the Caribbean increased in the last measurement period. After a plateau of several years, in 2016 approximately 42.5 million people do not have enough food to meet their required daily calorie intake, accounting for an increase of 2.4 million people versus the previous year.
  • If necessary actions are not taken to overcome both hunger and malnutrition, Latin America and the Caribbean will not attain the goal of ending hunger and malnutrition by 2030, set in the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Despite the decline in child undernutrition, overweight and obesity continue posing important health issues for Latin America and the Caribbean. The prevalence of obesity in adults is on the rise and overweight in children under 5 years of age affects 7% the population, ranking above the 6% of overweight children registered worldwide.
  • Although Latin America and the Caribbean produce enough food to meet the needs of their population, this does not ensure healthy and nutritious diets. There is a need for creating sustainable and nutrition-sensitive food systems to provide varied and safe foods, with good nutritional quality that help put an end to hunger and all forms of malnutrition.
  • Both the economic slowdown in Latin America and the Caribbean and the slower pace of poverty and extreme poverty reduction dynamics over the last few years have hindered the eradication of hunger and malnutrition. Furthermore, persisting income inequality puts pressure on access to food, with the ensuing impact on food and nutrition security.
  • Marked differences in access to basic services are observed in Latin America and the Caribbean, both among and within countries. Rural areas and low-income population groups have far less access to drinking water and sanitation in the region.
  • Weather-related disasters have caused considerable economic damages and severe consequences for food and nutrition security. This scenario has imposed a sense of urgency on the actions required for the mitigation and adaptation actions required.

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