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Food security and nutrition for all

Taking stock of uneven progress

The world has made remarkable progress in the past two decades in the fight against hunger and all forms of malnutrition. While progress is encouraging, much still remains to be done as advancements have been unevenly spread across regions, countries and population groups.

In fact, micronutrient deficiencies still affect a staggering two billion people, while over 800 million suffer from chronic hunger. At the same time, obesity and diet-related non-communicable diseases are on the rise in nearly every country, giving way to growing concern worldwide.

 
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Alternative paths are possible

The 2030 Agenda represents a historic pledge to rid the world of poverty and hunger by 2030. Comprising 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with specific targets, it provides countries with a path to tackle the systemic causes of hunger and poverty, not merely their symptoms, while reviving and sustainably managing the world’s natural resources. The FAO vision for a “world free of hunger” dovetails that of SDG2.

Ridding the world of poverty and hunger requires a radical transformation rather than standalone assistance. Transformation must happen at policy and institutional levels, beginning with the set-up of enabling environments for inclusive political processes and dialogues, where the most vulnerable people are given a voice at the decision table. New policies, however, are only effective if institutions are able to carry them out: countries must continue to develop the capacities of their institutions to bring real and lasting change to the lives of men, women and children they serve.

FAO provides policy support and develops the capacity of countries to turn their commitments into concrete action. This approach is grounded in four dimensions that are key to the policy process:

1. Policies, programmes and legal frameworks

2. Governance and coordination

3. Evidence-based decision making

4. Implementation