The state of food insecurity in the world 2012


FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS
Rome, 2012

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Table of Contents

Key messages

   [1.5Mb]
   

Foreword

  pdf [66Kb]
   

Undernourishment around the world in 2012

    Undernourishment around the world
    Improvements in data and methodology
  pdf [479Kb]
   

Economic growth, hunger and malnutrition

    Income growth and changes in food consumption
    How does economic growth contribute to hunger reduction and
    improved nutrition?
    Nutrition outcomes – global progress, but many problems remain
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Contribution of agricultural growth to reduction of poverty, hunger and malnutrition

    The role of agricultural growth in economic growth, and poverty and hunger reduction
    Smallholders’ contribution to increasing agricultural production and productivity
    Hunger, agriculture and sustainable development
    The importance of the rural non-farm economy and its links with agriculture
   [549Kb]
   

Social protection for the poor and vulnerable

    A foundation for reducing hunger and malnutrition
    Safety nets to improve food security and nutrition
    Social protection and economic growth
   [479Kb]
   

Annex 1

    Annex table

    Prevalence of undernourishment and progress towards the World Food Summit (WFS) and the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets in developing countries
   [74Kb]

Annex 2

    Updating and overhauling the FAO methodology for assessing
    food insecurity – a summary of changes and their impacts
   [156Kb]

Annex 3

    Glossary of selected terms used in the report
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Notes

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ABSTRACT

The 2012 edition of The State of Food Insecurity in the World presents new estimates of undernourishment based on a revised and improved methodology. The new estimates show that progress in reducing hunger during the past 20 years has been better than previously believed, and that, given renewed efforts, it may be possible to reach the MDG hunger target at the global level by 2015. However, the number of people suffering from chronic undernourishment is still unacceptably high, and eradication of hunger remains a major global challenge.2012 presents new estimates of undernourishment based on a revised and improved methodology. The new estimates show that progress in reducing hunger during the past 20 years has been better than previously believed, and that, given renewed efforts, it may be possible to reach the MDG hunger target at the global level by 2015. However, the number of people suffering from chronic undernourishment is still unacceptably high, and eradication of hunger remains a major global challenge.

This year’s report also discusses the role of economic growth in reducing undernourishment. Economic growth is most effective in reducing poverty and hunger when it increases employment and income-earning opportunities that the poor can take advantage of. Sustainable agricultural growth is often effective in reaching the poor because most of the poor and hungry live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for a significant part of their livelihoods. However, growth will not necessarily result in better nutrition for all. Policies and programmes that will ensure “nutrition-sensitive” growth include supporting increased dietary diversity, improving access to safe drinking water, sanitation and health services and educating consumers regarding adequate nutrition and child care practices.

Economic growth takes time to reach the poor, and may not reach the poorest of the poor. Therefore, social protection is crucial for eliminating hunger as rapidly as possible. Furthermore, when properly structured, social protection also promotes economic growth by building human capital and helping farmers manage risk so that they can adopt improved technologies. Finally, rapid progress in reducing hunger requires government action to provide key public goods and services within a governance system based on transparency, participation, accountability, rule of law and human rights.



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The designations employed and the presentation of material in the maps do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO, IFAD or WFP concerning the legal or constitutional status of any country, territory or sea area, or concerning the delimitation of frontiers.

ISBN 978-92-5-107316-2

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FAO 2012