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About this report

Towards the World Food Summit target

Undernourishment around the world
Counting the hungry: latest estimates
Counting the hungry: recent trends in developing countries and countries in transition
Food insecurity and HIV/AIDS: when short-term emergencies intersect a long-wave crisis
Water and food security
Hunger hotspots

Special feature
International trade and food security
Trade and food security: the importance of agriculture and agricultural trade in developing countries
Trade and food security: does trade openness harm food security?
Trade and food security: issues of the Doha Round and beyond

Towards the World Food Summit commitments
Acting to combat hunger
Beyond irrigation: the multiple uses of water for improving both diets and incomes
Mapping poverty and hunger to help wipe them off the map
Identifying the keys to sustainable nutrition programmes
The way ahead: mobilizing commitment and action to combat hunger

Table 1. Prevalence of undernourishment
Table 2. Food availability, diet diversification, poverty, child mortality, child nutritional status and resources directed to agriculture

Published in 2003 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 boundaries, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

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

© FAO 2003

ISBN 92-5-104986-6

Printed in Italy

Photographs From left to right on cover: PS Deora/UNEP/B; UNEP/MA Walters/Topham; Romy Hitosis/UNEP/B


This fifth edition of The State of Food Insecurity in the World (SOFI) was prepared as a collaborative effort within FAO led by the Economic and Social Department (ES).

Overall leadership was provided by Hartwig de Haen, Assistant Director- General, ES, assisted by Ali Arslan Gurkan, Chief of the Basic Foodstuffs Service (ESCB), who served as the chair of the core technical team. Valuable conceptual and editorial assistance was provided by Andrew Marx of KnowledgeView Ltd.

Other members of the core technical team in the ES Department were: Jelle Bruinsma, Global Perspectives Study Unit; Randy Stringer, Agricultural and Development Economics Division; Prakash Shetty, Nutrition Division; Jorge Mernies, Statistics Division; and Nicholas Hughes, ES Department Programme Coordinator.

The following FAO staff provided technical contributions: Josef Schmidhuber, Global Perspectives Study Unit (ES); Haluk Kasnakoglu, Edward Gillin, Ricardo Sibrian, Loganaden Naiken (consultant), Seevalingum Ramasawmy, Cinzia Cerri, Marianna Campeanu and Vincent Ngendakumana, Statistics Division (ES); Jean-Marc Faurès and Karen Frenken, Land and Water Development Division (AG); Sumiter Broca, Benjamin Davis, Annelies Deuss, Amdetsion Gebre-Michael, Guenter Hemrich, Anna Carla Lopez, Prabhu Pingali, Jakob Skoet and Kostas Stamoulis, Agricultural and Development Economics Division (ES); William Clay, Irela Mazar and Guy Nantel, Nutrition Division (ES); Maarten Immink and Jenny Riches, FIVIMS Coordination Unit (ES); Shukri Ahmed, Michael Cherlet, Merritt Cluff, Cheng Fang, Henri Josserand, Suffyan Koroma, Mwita Rukandema, Harmon Thomas and Yanyun Li, Commodities and Trade Division (ES); Ergin Ataman, Research, Extension and Training Division (SD); Marcela Villarreal, Gender and Population Division (SD); Andrew MacMillan, Field Operations Division (TC); Naoki Minamiguchi, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.

The key statistics on food consumption and the estimates and analysis on undernourishment used in SOFI 2003 were produced by the Basic Data Branch and the Statistical Analysis Service of the FAO Statistics Division respectively.

FAO extends special thanks to the team of Banson, Cambridge, UK, for design, layout, editorial support and preparation of graphic material.

The Editorial Production and Design Group of the Information Division, GI, was responsible for language editing services, editorial quality control and desktop publishing. Translations were provided by the Translation Group of the Conference, Council and Protocol Affairs Division, GI.