Download Full Report (560 kb)
Download Flyer (105 kb)



About this report

Towards the World Food Summit target: confronting the crippling costs of hunger

Undernourishment around the world
Counting the hungry: latest estimates
The human costs of hunger: millions of lives destroyed by death and disability
The economic costs of hunger: billions in lost productivity, earnings and consumption
Measuring hunger: improving estimates to target more effective action
Hunger hotspots

Special feature
Globalization, urbanization and changing food systems in developing countries
The impact of changing food systems on small farmers in developing countries
The changing profile of hunger and malnutrition

Towards the Summit commitments
Acting to combat hunger
Factoring the resilience of food systems and communities into the response to protracted crises
Education for rural people and food security
Rice and food security

The way ahead: scaling up action to scale down hunger



Published in 2004 by the
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy

The designations employed and the presentation of the material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal or development status of any country, territory, city or area or of its boundaries, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

The mention or omission of specific companies, their products or brand names does not imply any endorsement or judgement by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

All rights reserved. Reproduction and dissemination of material in this information product for education or other non-commercial purposes are authorized without any prior written permission from the copyright holders provided the source is fully acknowledged. Reproduction of material in this information product for resale or other commercial purposes is prohibited without written permission of the copyright holders.

Applications for such permission should be addressed to the Chief, Publishing Management Service, Information Division, FAO, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla , 00100 Rome , Italy or by

e-mail to .

© FAO 2004

ISBN 92-5-105178-X

Printed in Italy

As cover (left to right): Thi ha Thein Nyan/UNEP/Topham; Claudio Marcozzi/UNEP/Topham; Felix O Granmakou/UNEP/Topham.


This sixth edition of The State of Food Insecurity in the World (SOFI) was prepared as a collaborative effort within FAO led by the Economic and Social Department (ES).

Overall leadership was provided by Hartwig de Haen, Assistant Director- General, ES, assisted by Kostas Stamoulis, Chief of the Agricultural Sector in Economic Development Service, who served as the chair of the core technical team. Valuable conceptual and editorial assistance was provided by Andrew Marx of KnowledgeView Ltd.

Other members of the core technical team in the ES Department were: Jelle Bruinsma, Global Perspectives Study Unit; Randy Stringer, Agricultural and Development Economics Division; Ali Arslan Gurkan, Commodities and Trade Division; Prakash Shetty, Food and Nutrition Division; Jorge Mernies, Statistics Division.

The following FAO staff provided technical contributions: Josef Schmidhuber, Global Perspectives Study Unit (ES); Jennifer Nyberg, Office of the Assistant Director-General (ES); Cinzia Cerri, Haluk Kasnakoglu, Seevalingum Ramasawmy and Ricardo Sibrian, Statistics Division (ES); Luca Alinovi, Sumiter Broca, Gero Carletto, Benjamin Davis, Margarita Flores, Amdetsion Gebre-Michael, Guenter Hemrich, Naoko Horii, Madelon Meijer and Prabhu Pingali, Agricultural and Development Economics Division (ES); Terri Ballard, Gina Kennedy and Guy Nantel, Nutrition Division (ES); Maarten Immink and Jenny Riches, FIVIMS Coordination Unit (ES); Concepción Calpe and Henri Josserand, Commodities and Trade Division (ES); Lavinia Gasperini and Ester Zulberti, Research, Extension and Training Division (SD); Andrew MacMillan, Field Operations Division (TC).

The key estimates on food consumption and undernourishment used in SOFI 2004 were produced by the Basic Data Branch and the Statistical Analysis Service of the FAO Statistics Division respectively.

FAO extends special thanks to the team of Banson, Cambridge , UK , for design, layout, editorial support and preparation of graphic material.

The Editorial Group of the Information Division, GI, was responsible for language editing services, editorial quality control and desktop publishing. Translations were provided by the Translation Group of the Conference, Council and Protocol Affairs Division, GI.