About this report 


Rallying political will and resources to "get back on track"

Undernourishment around the world
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Reductions in undernourishment over the past decade

Individual country performances

Towards more equal access to food

Assessing nutritional status and vulnerability
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Nutritional status: indicators for action

Pathways to food security: options for the poor in Guatemala

Recent shocks to food security

HIV/AIDS: a crisis like no other

Action against undernutrition and poverty
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Redirecting food assistance to those who need it most

Supplying safe drinking-water for all

Seeds of success

Propagating prosperity

Improving fish safety and quality in Africa

Zambian boy revisited

The way ahead
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Commitment, followed by resources and action




Published in 2001 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 publication 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 status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

All rights reserved. Reproduction and dissemination of material in this information product for educational 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 and Multimedia Service, Information Division, FAO, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy or by e-mail to [email protected].

© FAO 2001

ISBN 92-5-104628-X

Printed in Italy

Photographs From left to right on cover: FAO/17343/R. Faidutti FAO/15849/R. Faidutti FAO/11270/F. Botts


The third edition of The State of Food Insecurity in the World was prepared as a collaborative effort between the Economic and Social Department (ES) and the General Affairs and Information Department (GI) of FAO. Costs for printing and translation of this document were partially covered by a grant from the FAO-Netherlands Partnership Programme; research assistance on selected topics was also provided by a grant from the Department for International Development (DFID), United Kingdom; we gratefully acknowledge the assistance from both sources.

Overall leadership was provided by Hartwig de Haen, Assistant Director-General, ES, assisted by David Wilcock, FIVIMS Coordinator, ES, who served as the chair of the core technical team. Invaluable editing assistance was provided by Simon Chater of Green Ink, Devon, United Kingdom, assisted by staff members Brenda Townsend-Hall, Richard Markham and Christel Blank.

Other members of the core technical team in the ES Department were Jenny Riches, FIVIMS Coordination Unit; Barbara Huddleston, Agriculture and Economic Development Analysis Division; Barbara Burlingame, Food and Nutrition Division; Loganaden Naiken, Statistics Division; and Nick Hughes, ES Department Programme Coordinator. The Editorial Group of the Information Division, GI, was responsible for final editing, graphics and desktop publishing. The following FAO staff provided technical contributions: Jelle Bruinsma, Global Perspective Studies Unit, ES; Françoise Trine and Johannes Schmidt, FIVIMS Coordination Unit, ES; Sumiter Broca, Fabio Pittaluga and Kostas Stamoulis, Agriculture and Economic Development Division, ES;

Jorges Mernies, Statistics Division, ES; Mwita Rukandema, Commodities and Trade Division, ES; Prakesh Shetty, William Clay, Janice Albert, Ellen Muehlhoff, Irela Mazar, Lourdes Costarrica, Maren Lieberum, Florence Egal and Sofie van Waeyenberge, APO in Luapula, Zambia, all of the Food and Nutrition Division, ES; William Fiebig and NeBambi Lutaladio of the Plant Production and Protection Division, Agriculture Department; Lahsen Ababouch and Audun Lem, Fishery Industries Division, Fisheries Department; René Gommes, Research, Extension and Training Division, and Marcela Villarreal, Women and Population Division, Sustainable Development Department. Finally, we gratefully acknowledge the contributions of: Jeffrey Marzilli and Annalisa Conte, WFP; Lawrence Haddad, IFPRI; Jeremy Shoham, Fiona Watson and Carmel Dolan, NutritionWorks; Karim Hussein and Tom Slaymaker, Overseas Development Institute (United Kingdom); and Karel Callens, consultant.