087 Regional progress for the achievement of SDG 2: emerging issues in the five regions

Monitoring and building regional perspectives to eradicate hunger and malnutrition in all its forms


  • FAO
  • Dominican Republic


The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has core focus on  food security and nutrition. Eradicating hunger and malnutrition has been recognized as a complex phenomenon, with different manifestations depending on regional, country and local contexts. The identification of emerging issues at all levels, and collecting evidence about them, are key factors to promote food security and nutrition in the political agenda.

The Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition Reports (Panorama Reports) are produced to fill gaps of regional-based evidence information on emerging challenges and issues facing the regions and national governments. Furthermore, the reports are used to facilitate policy dialogue and collaboration among countries and regions. This event will present the reports' key findings, with a special emphasis on country and regional responses to the emerging issues.

Key speakers/presenters

  • Welcome and opening remarks: Marco Sánchez Cantillo, Deputy Director, Agriculture Development Economics Division (ESA) of FAO;
  • Keynote speaker: H.E. Mario Arvelo, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Dominican Republic to FAO, IFAD & WFP and CFS Chair;
  • Panelist: H. E. Abdus Sobhan Sikder, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh to FAO, IFAD & WFP;
  • Panelist: Dr. Carlos Durán,  Vice Minister on Health Governance and Surveillance, Public Health Ministry of the Republic of Ecuador;
  • Panelist: Ms. Ekaterine Zviadadze, Head of Policy and Analytics Department, Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Republic of Georgia;
  • Panelist: Mr. Walid Abed Rabboh,  Senior Advisor, ex-Coordinator of Jordan Response Plan to Syria Crisis (JRP) and former Minister of Agriculture in Palestine;
  • Moderator: Cindy Holleman, Senior Economist-Food Security and Nutrition, Agriculture Development Economics Division (ESA) of FAO.

Main themes/issues discussed

The event shared some of the key findings of the 2018 edition of the Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition reports, with a special emphasis on country and regional responses to the emerging issues, organized in three main topics:

1)    Climate variability and extremes;
2)    Migration;
3)    Food systems and nutrition.

Summary of key points

Ending hunger and all forms of malnutrition in the context of multiple challenges, including increasing climate variability and extremes, increases in the number of international and domestic migrants, and changes in food systems, will need a strong political commitment, integrated multi-sector policies and programmes that are coherently designed and implemented.
The importance of political commitment to face the multiple burden of malnutrition was highlighted as one of the lessons from the food security and nutrition strategy in Bangladesh. The country has made progress in reducing stunting rates of children under five years in the last years, but at the same time the country now faces an increasing trend in overweight children.  To address this the country has adopted a robust multi-sector institutional framework and investment plan that focuses on the entire food system to deliver improved access to nutritious foods.

In Ecuador chronic hunger is low, but the country faces increasing rates in overweight of children.  Changes in food systems and its consequences in nutritional outcomes are being addressed in Ecuador through a combination of government regulations, advertising and information campaigns and school feeding programmes. Examples of efforts directed to change the consumers’ habits include: front label packaging, taxes on sweetened drinks, and the regulation of school cafeterias. These actions have shown promising results in changing the dietary patterns of the population.

The urban-rural gap is one of the key drivers of migration.  Implementing measures for rural development and transformation is fundamental for poverty reduction and economic development.  This would include improving the access to services in rural areas and increasing income-generation opportunities for rural populations. The Rural Development Strategy of Georgia for 2017-2020 includes initiatives focuses on three areas to reach these objectives: economy and competitiveness; social conditions and living standards; and environmental protection and sustainable management of natural resources.

Finally, it’s important to note that rural transformation is also an important development challenge in the Near East and North Africa. Measures oriented to rural development could give a very important support for the vulnerable population in the region and it is important to consider these in the national food security and nutrition strategies. 

Key take away messages

Political commitment and policy coherence are key for a successful hunger and malnutrition eradication strategy. However, the challenge of coordinating multiple sectors, stakeholders and initiatives, which is essential to address food insecurity and malnutrition, is not an easy task. Monitoring and evaluation plays an important role, especially when non-sectoral indicators are included in sectoral policies. For example, strategies of rural development could include monitoring indicators on nutrition. This would increase the understanding of how different policies could have positive effects on hunger and malnutrition reduction, and the importance of the coherence of this policy with other policy instruments in order to achieve the SDG 2.

CFS - Side Event 087: Regional progress for the achievement of SDG 2: emerging issues in the five regions