Committee on World Food Security

CFS Round Table

©FAO/Giuseppe Bizzarri

Monitoring Food Security

Round table to review methods used to estimate the number of hungry

FAO Headquarters, Rome - 12 - 13 September 2011

The way forward
In addition to improving the timeliness and accuracy of the hunger estimates, there is a need to address the fact that malnutrition is more than merely a caloric food deficit. There is a growing recognition that hunger is a complex phenomenon that requires a multifaceted concept for its measurement and a whole suite of indicators that can capture the multiple symptoms and consequences of malnutrition.

More work is also required to identify the exact root causes of malnutrition, in particular the role of income,  income growth, income distribution and (the currently) large swings in food prices (food price volatility). In this context, it is important to better understand the apparent divergence in the evolution of hunger and poverty over the long-run; it is also important to reconcile the widely diverging views regarding the effects of food price volatility  on poverty on the one hand and its more moderate effects on the prevalence of hunger on the other.

Other goals include the need to expedite the availability of food security indicators and to better understand its root causes and consequences. This Round Table is intended to provide a step in that direction. It will bring together hunger and poverty experts from member countries to discuss state-of-the-art methods used for analyzing and quantifying food insecurity and seek an agreement on future directions for research and policy analysis.