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FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean
Photo: ©FAO/Max Valencia

The 2013 edition of the Panorama shows that in recent years the region maintains a favourable trajectory in terms of economic growth and social protection, amidst a general context in which the economies of the industrialized countries have experienced crises and low growth rates.

Progress made between 1990 and 2015 towards the goal of halving the proportion of people who suffer from hunger allows for optimism: if efforts are re-doubled and this positive trend in terms of economic and social development is maintained, our generation could be the first in history to live completely free from hunger and malnutrition in all countries of the region.

Panorama of Food and Nutritional Security in Latin America and the Caribbean 2013

Key messages

  • 47 million people suffer hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean, three million fewer than in 2008-2010.
  • 16 countries in the region have met the first Millennium Development Goal's target of "halving the proportion of undernourished" by 2015.
  • Overweight affects 23% of adults and 7% of pre-schoolers.
  • The region has made significant progress in reducing poverty and indigence: in 1990 poverty affected 48.4% of the population and extreme poverty 22.6%. Today those numbers have dropped to 28.8% and 11,4%, respectively.
  • Latin America and the Caribbean produces more food than its whole population requires. No country in the region lacks sufficient availability of daily calories per person.
  • In 2012, the region showed relatively stable food prices, but the first half of 2013 was characterized by increased price instability.
  • The cycle of economic growth in the decade of 2000 helped to increase employment and incomes, however, growth in itself has failed to solve the major gaps and inequalities that are characteristic of the region.
  • Food security requires a "twin-track approach", a broad spectrum of public policies to address complex social situations immediately (such as conditioned cash transfer programs and school feeding programs) with other long term policies to effect structural changes (support for family farming and the improvement of the rural labour market).