FAO.org

Home > Publications > sofi > The State of Food Insecurity in the World

The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2014

The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2014 presents updated estimates of undernourishment and progress towards the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) and World Food Summit (WFS) hunger targets. A stock-taking of where we stand on reducing hunger and malnutrition shows that progress in hunger reduction at the global level and in many countries has continued but that substantial additional effort is needed in others.

Sustained political commitment at the highest level is a prerequisite for hunger eradication. It entails placing food security and nutrition at the top of the political agenda and creating an enabling environment for improving food security and nutrition. This year’s report examines the diverse experiences of seven countries, with a specific focus on the enabling environment for food security and nutrition that reflects commitment and capacities across four dimensions: policies, programmes and legal frameworks; mobilization of human and financial resources; coordination mechanisms and partnerships; and evidence-based decision-making.

Key Messages

  • The latest FAO estimates indicate that global hunger reduction continues: about 805 million people are estimated to be chronically undernourished in 2012–14, down more than 100 million over the last decade, and 209 million lower than in 1990–92. In the same period, the prevalence of undernourishment has fallen from 18.7 to 11.3 percent globally and from 23.4 to 13.5 percent for developing countries.
  • Since 1990-92, 63 countries have reached the hunger target of MDG-1 and 25 countries have achieved the more stringent WFS target. Of the 63 developing countries, 11 already had undernourishment levels below 5 percent (the methodological limit that can assure significance of the results different from zero) in 1990-1992 and have been able to keep it in that interval, and are therefore not the prime focus of the 2014 report.
  • The figures demonstrate that the hunger target of the Millennium Development Goal – of halving the proportion of undernourished people in developing countries by 2015 – is within reach.
  • Despite overall progress, marked differences across regions persist. Latin America and the Caribbean have made the greatest overall progress in increasing food security with modest progress in sub-Saharan Africa and Western Asia, which have been afflicted by natural disasters and conflict.
  • Sustained political commitment at the highest level, with food security and nutrition as top priorities, is a prerequisite for hunger eradication. The case studies of the State of Food Insecurity in the World 2014 report show that regions such as Africa and the Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as individual countries have strengthened their political commitment to food security and nutrition.
  • Hunger reduction requires an integrated approach, and needs to include: public and private investments to raise agricultural productivity; better access to inputs, land, services, technologies and markets; measures to promote rural development; social protection for the most vulnerable, including strengthening their resilience to conflicts and natural disasters; and specific nutrition programmes, particularly to address micronutrient deficiencies in mothers and children under five.

Interview with Jomo Kwame Sundaram FAO Assistant Director-General and Coordinator for Economic and Social Development

About the series

The State of Food Insecurity in the World raises awareness about global hunger issues, discusses underlying causes of hunger and malnutrition and monitors progress towards hunger reduction targets established at the 1996 World Food Summit and the Millennium Summit. The publication is targeted at a wide audience, including policy-makers, international organizations, academic institutions and the general public with a general interest in linkages between food security, and human and economic development.

For more information contact: sofi@fao.org