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336. The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2021: Around 118 million more people faced hunger last year

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On July 12, the 2021 edition of The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI 2021) was published. SOFI was originally one of the flagship reports of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and it has been jointly produced by five UN agencies (FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP, and WHO). This year's subtitle is "Transforming food systems for food security, improved nutrition and affordable healthy diets for all".

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the state of hunger and food security is quite remarkable. The number of hungry people in the world has been on a moderate upward trend since 2014, but in 2020, the number of people facing hunger increased rapidly by 118 million (the middle of the range, up to 161 million) compared to 2019, reaching between 720 and 811 million. In 2030, around 660 million people may still be facing hunger, 30 million more than if the pandemic had not occurred.

According to the report, 928 million people (12%) are severely food insecure, 148 million more than last year. There is also a gender gap in food insecurity, and that gap has widened further with the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, 2.37 billion people (one in three) do not have access to an adequate diet (a diet that meets their nutrient needs), an increase of 320 million people in just one year. In addition, a healthy diet (one that provides adequate nutrients and includes a variety of foods) is unaffordable, especially for the poor, due to its high cost, and 3 billion people cannot afford a healthy diet.

For children under five, 22% (149.2 million) are stunted, 6.7% (45.4 million) are wasted, and 5.7% (38.9 million) are overweight, although the actual number may be higher because in some cases the data do not reflect the situation in the pandemic. Child malnutrition is particularly prevalent in Africa and Asia.

The main drivers of food insecurity and malnutrition are conflict, climate extremes, and the economic downturns (which is even worse under COVID-19). These are likely to continue, and it is unlikely that any of the global indicators for nutrition will be achieved by 2030. This report identifies six pathways to food system transformation (conflict, climate, economy, supply chain, poverty, and dietary patterns) and makes recommendations to address the factors behind the rise in hunger and all forms of malnutrition

The opportunity to learn about these latest international developments is very important. As part of this effort, a webinar, "OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook Report Launch Event," will be held today, Wednesday, July 14, from 15:00 - 16:30 Japan time, hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Liaison Office in Japan, in cooperation with the JIRCAS.

■ Date:July 14 (Wed), 2021 15:00~16:30 (JST); 8:00~9:30 (CET)
■ Event Format:Online(ZOOM))
■ Program:https://www.jircas.go.jp/en/event/2021/e20210714

The event and discussions will be reported on our website and other media at a later date.

Registration has been closed on Monday, July 12. Thank you for your registration. Please contact us for inquiries.
URL: https://www.jircas.go.jp/en/form/inquiry

Reference
FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP and WHO. 2021. The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2021. Transforming food systems for food security, improved nutrition and affordable healthy diets for all. Rome, FAO. https://doi.org/10.4060/cb4474en  Accessed on July 13

Contributor: SHIRATORI Sakiko (Information and Public Relations Office)