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The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2015

This year's annual State of Food Insecurity in the World report takes stock of progress made towards achieving the internationally established Millennium Development Goal (MDG1) and World Food Summit hunger targets and reflects on what needs to be done, as we transition to the new post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda. The 2015 report reviews progress made since 1990 for every country and region as well as for the world as a whole.The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2015

This year's annual State of Food Insecurity in the World report takes stock of progress made towards achieving the internationally established Millennium Development Goal (MDG1) and World Food Summit hunger targets and reflects on what needs to be done, as we transition to the new post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda. The 2015 report reviews progress made since 1990 for every country and region as well as for the world as a whole.

Overall progress not with standing, much work remains to be done to eradicate hunger and achieve food security across all its dimensions. The report not only estimates the progress already achieved, but also identifies remaining problems, and provides guidance on which policies should be emphasized in the future. Key factors that have determined success to date towards food security and nutrition goals are identified. The list of factors – economic growth, agricultural productivity growth, markets and social protection – is by no means exhaustive. The report also shows how protracted crises, due to conflict or natural disasters, have deleterious effects on progress in hunger reduction.

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Key Messages

  • About 793 million people are undernourished globally, down 167 million over the last decade, and 216 million less than in 1990–92. The decline is more pronounced in developing regions, despite significant population growth. In recent years, progress has been hindered by slower and less inclusive economic growth as well as political instability in some developing regions, such as Central Africa and western Asia.
  • The year 2015 marks the end of the monitoring period for the Millennium Development Goal targets. For the developing regions as a whole, the share of undernourished people in the total population has decreased from 23.3 percent in 1990–92 to 12.9 per cent. Some regions, such as Latin America, the east and south-eastern regions of Asia, the Caucasus and Central Asia, and the northern and western regions of Africa have made fast progress. Progress was also recorded in southern Asia, Oceania, the Caribbean and southern and eastern Africa, but at too slow a pace to reach the MDG 1c target of halving the proportion of the chronically undernourished.
  • A total of 72 developing countries out of 129, or more than half the countries monitored, have reached the MDG 1c hunger target. Most enjoyed stable political conditions and economic growth, often accompanied by social protection policies targeted at vulnerable population groups.
  • For the developing regions as a whole, the two indicators of MDG 1c – the prevalence of undernourishment and the proportion of underweight children under 5 years of age – have both declined. In some regions, including western Africa, south-eastern Asia and South America, undernourishment declined faster than the rate for child underweight, suggesting room for improving the quality of diets, hygiene conditions and access to clean water, particularly for poorer population groups.
  • Economic growth is a key success factor for reducing undernourishment, but it has to be inclusive and provide opportunities for improving the livelihoods of the poor. Enhancing the productivity and incomes of smallholder family farmers is key to progress.
  • Social protection systems have been critical in fostering progress towards the MDG 1 hunger and poverty targets in a number of developing countries. Social protection directly contributes to the reduction of poverty, hunger and malnutrition by promoting income security and access to better nutrition, health care and education. By improving human capacities and mitigating the impacts of shocks, social protection fosters the ability of the poor to participate in growth through better access to employment.
  • In many countries that have failed to reach the international hunger targets, natural and human-induced disasters or political instability have resulted in protracted crises with increased vulnerability and food insecurity of large parts of the population. In such contexts, measures to protect vulnerable population groups and improve livelihoods have been difficult to implement or ineffective. 

The State of Food Insecurity in the World | 1999 - 2015

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