The State of
Food Insecurity in the World

                           2006

               Eradicating world hunger –
    ...
Acknowledgements

The State of Food Insecurity in the       The following FAO staff and consultants                and Agr...
The State of
Food Insecurity in the World

                           2006


                Eradicating world hunger–
   ...
About this report


          en years ago, world leaders                 since 1990–92, the established                  ...
Contents


                Foreword
           4    Despite setbacks, the race against hunger can be won



              ...
Foreword
    Despite setbacks, the race against hunger can be won


                                                      ...
1
    Number of undernourished people in the developing world

    Millions of undernourished
    1 000
                  ...
and it will not be long before a                                 rural economy, are often a
                              ...
increasing number of countries            hunger” with renewed vigour,
illustrates the powerful contribution     seeking t...
Undernourishment around the world
    Counting the hungry: trends in the developing world
    and countries in transition1...
5
people and a sharp acceleration in
                                              Proportion of undernourished people and...
Undernourishment around the world



     7                                                                               ...
subregions: China, Southeast Asia                                       food security situation in the                    ...
Undernourishment around the world



     prevalence of undernourishment is                             projected to drop ...
11
                                                                                                                       ...
Undernourishment in the regions
     Asia and the Pacific


            sia and the Pacific region                     Bet...
15
 Number of undernourished: country progress and setbacks in Asia and the Pacific

 Ratio: current number to baseline (2...
Undernourishment in the regions



     16
                                                                               ...
The State Of Food Insecurity In The World 2006
The State Of Food Insecurity In The World 2006
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The State Of Food Insecurity In The World 2006
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The State Of Food Insecurity In The World 2006
The State Of Food Insecurity In The World 2006
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The State Of Food Insecurity In The World 2006

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Published in 2006 by the
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00153 Rome, Italy

The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product 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 or development status of any country, territory, city or area or of
its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

The designations employed and the presentation of material in the maps do not imply the expression
of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO concerning the legal or constitutional status of any
country, territory or sea area, or concerning the delimitation of frontiers.

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,
Electronic Publishing Policy and Support Branch, Information Division, FAO, Viale delle Terme
di Caracalla, 00153 Rome, Italy or by e-mail to copyright@fao.org .

© FAO 2006
ISBN 92-5-105580-7

Printed in Italy
Photographs : From left to right on cover: FAO/14800/A. Conti; FAO/17283/J. Holmes; FAO/23076/R. Grossman.-----http://www.fao.org/docrep/009/a0750e/a0750e00.htm

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The State Of Food Insecurity In The World 2006

  1. 1. The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2006 Eradicating world hunger – taking stock ten years after the World Food Summit
  2. 2. Acknowledgements The State of Food Insecurity in the The following FAO staff and consultants and Agriculture Statistics Service and World 2006 was prepared by provided technical contributions: the Socio-Economic Statistics and Jakob Skoet and Kostas Stamoulis, Margarita Flores, Aasa Giertz and Analysis Service of the FAO Statistics Agricultural and Development Kristian Jakobsen, Agricultural and Division. Economics Division, under the general Development Economics Division; Deep supervision of Prabhu Pingali, Director Ford, Commodities and Trade Division; Projections of food consumption and of the same division. Ricardo Sibrian, Jelle Bruinsma, Gerold Boedeker and undernourishment in 2015 were Statistics Division, coordinated the Joseph Schmidhuber, Global prepared by the FAO Global Perspective statistical inputs and analysis to the Perspective Studies Unit; Cinzia Cerri, Studies Unit. publication. Consultant Jorge Mernies Amanda Gordon, Seevalingum provided advice in the planning stage. Ramasawmy, Mohamed Barre and The Electronic Publishing Policy and Nathalie Troubat, Statistics Division; Support Branch of the General Affairs Background papers and draft sections David Sedik, Regional Office for Europe; and Information Department (GI) were prepared by Shahla Shapouri, and Nasredin Elamin, Regional Office provided editorial, language editing, Economic Research Service of the United for the Near East. graphic and production services. States Department of Agriculture; Translations were provided by the Tugrul Temel, Agricultural Economics The key estimates on food consumption Meeting Programming and and Rural Policy Group, Wageningen and undernourishment used in The Documentation Service of GI. University; and Sumiter Broca, State of Food Insecurity in the World FAO Global Perspectives Studies Unit. 2006 were produced by the Basic Food Published in 2006 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00153 Rome, Italy The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product 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 or development status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. The designations employed and the presentation of material in the maps do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO concerning the legal or constitutional status of any country, territory or sea area, or concerning the delimitation of frontiers. Copies of FAO publications 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 can be requested from: 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 SALES AND MARKETING GROUP of the copyright holders. Applications for such permission should be addressed to the Chief, Information Division Electronic Publishing Policy and Support Branch, Information Division, FAO, Viale delle Terme Food and Agriculture Organization of di Caracalla, 00153 Rome, Italy or by e-mail to copyright@fao.org the United Nations © FAO 2006 E-mail: publications-sales@fao.org ISBN 92-5-105580-7 Fax: (+39) 06 57053360 Printed in Italy Web site: Photographs http://www.fao.org/icatalog/inter-e.htm From left to right on cover: FAO/14800/A. Conti; FAO/17283/J. Holmes; FAO/23076/R. Grossman.
  3. 3. The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2006 Eradicating world hunger– taking stock ten years after the World Food Summit
  4. 4. About this report en years ago, world leaders since 1990–92, the established Two tables (pp. 32–38) provide T met in Rome for the World Food Summit (WFS) to discuss ways to end hunger. baseline period. The first section of the report, Undernourishment around detailed information on levels of undernourishment in developing and transition countries and other They pledged their commitment to the world, reviews trends in hunger indicators relevant to food security. an ongoing effort to eradicate at the global, regional and The report also includes maps hunger in all countries and set subregional levels. It also presents (page 31) illustrating the global food themselves the immediate target of FAO’s most recent projections of security situation and progress in halving the number of undernourishment in 2015. hunger reduction. undernourished people by 2015. The second section, To this purpose, they approved Undernourishment in the regions, the World Food Summit Plan of reviews the food security situation in Action. In October 2006, FAO’s each of the major developing Committee on World Food Security regions and the transition countries. is undertaking an assessment The third section, Towards of the implementation of the the Summit commitments, Plan of Action and a mid-term summarizes lessons from past review of progress towards experience in hunger reduction achieving the target. and presents FAO’s current The State of Food Insecurity in thinking on how to accelerate the World 2006 reviews progress progress towards meeting the WFS and setbacks in hunger reduction target. The World Food Summit Plan of Action Commitments We will ensure an enabling political, social, and economic We will strive to ensure that food, agricultural trade and 1 environment designed to create the best conditions for the eradication of poverty and for durable peace, based on 4 overall trade policies are conducive to fostering food security for all through a fair and market-oriented world full and equal participation of women and men, which is trade system. most conducive to achieving sustainable food security for all. We will endeavour to prevent and be prepared for natural 5 disasters and man-made emergencies and to meet 2 We will implement policies aimed at eradicating poverty and inequality and improving physical and economic access by all, at all times, to sufficient, nutritionally adequate and transitory and emergency food requirements in ways that encourage recovery, rehabilitation, development and a capacity to satisfy future needs. safe food and its effective utilization. We will promote optimal allocation and use of public and 3 We will pursue participatory and sustainable food, agriculture, fisheries, forestry and rural development 6 private investments to foster human resources, sustainable food, agriculture, fisheries and forestry systems, and rural policies and practices in high and low potential areas, development, in high and low potential areas. which are essential to adequate and reliable food supplies at the household, national, regional and global levels, and We will implement, monitor, and follow-up this Plan of combat pests, drought and desertification, considering the multifunctional character of agriculture. 7 Action at all levels in cooperation with the international community. 2 The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2006
  5. 5. Contents Foreword 4 Despite setbacks, the race against hunger can be won Undernourishment around the world 8 Counting the hungry: trends in the developing world and countries in transition Undernourishment in the regions 14 Asia and the Pacific 17 Latin America and the Caribbean 20 Near East and North Africa 23 Sub-Saharan Africa 26 Countries in transition Towards the Summit commitments 28 The way ahead: strengthening efforts for eradicating hunger 31 Maps 32 Tables 39 Notes The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2006 3
  6. 6. Foreword Despite setbacks, the race against hunger can be won n November 1996, the world be undernourished in 2015 versus I turned its attention to Rome, where heads of State and Government of more than 180 nations 412 million if the WFS goal were to be met. The news cannot come as a attending the World Food Summit surprise. Time and again, through (WFS) pledged to eradicate one of the The State of Food Insecurity in the worst scourges weighing on society’s World as well as other channels, collective conscience: hunger. As an FAO has pointed out that insufficient important step towards this noble and progress is being made in alleviating long overdue objective, world leaders hunger. This publication has committed themselves to what was highlighted the discrepancy between considered an ambitious but what could (and should) be done, attainable intermediate target: to and what is actually being done for halve by 2015 the number of the millions of people suffering from undernourished people in the world hunger. We have emphasized first from the 1990 level. Ten years later, and foremost that reducing hunger we are confronted with the sad reality is no longer a question of means in that virtually no progress has been the hands of the global community. made towards that objective. The world is richer today than it was Compared with 1990–92, the number ten years ago. There is more food of undernourished people in the available and still more could be developing countries has declined by produced without excessive upward a meagre 3 million – a number within pressure on prices. The knowledge the bounds of statistical error. This is and resources to reduce hunger are the situation facing representatives of there. What is lacking is sufficient the Committee on World Food political will to mobilize those Security, meeting in Rome this year to resources to the benefit of the take stock of progress and setbacks hungry. Past issues of this report experienced since the Summit and to have stressed the urgency of propose further action. accelerating the pace in what has Not all news is dismal, however. literally been termed as “the race Despite disappointing performances against hunger”. They have in reducing the number of hungry reiterated the need to move from people, a smaller percentage of the rhetoric to concrete action. populations of developing countries is undernourished today compared Hunger reduction: with 1990–92: 17 percent against challenges and priorities 20 percent. Furthermore, FAO’s projections suggest that the When observing global trends in the proportion of hungry people in number of undernourished people, it developing countries in 2015 could is almost a natural reaction to dismiss be about half of what it was in the period since the WFS as a “lost 1990–92: a drop from 20 to decade”. To do so, however, would be 10 percent. This means that the a serious mistake. It would compound world is on a path towards meeting existing scepticism and would risk the Millennium Development Goal detracting from positive action being on hunger reduction. The same taken. It would also obscure the fact projections, however, also indicate that much has been accomplished in that the WFS target could be missed: securing a top place for hunger on the some 582 million people could still development agenda. 4 The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2006
  7. 7. 1 Number of undernourished people in the developing world Millions of undernourished 1 000 Path to the 900 Millennium Trend Development 800 Goal target 700 600 500 Path to the World Food 400 Summit target 300 200 World Food Summit base 100 period (1990–92) 0 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 Source: FAO What also warrants clarification is number of hungry people will not fall that the stagnation in the overall below that of 1990–92. By then, number of undernourished people sub-Saharan Africa will be home to reflects the net outcome of progress around 30 percent of the in some countries combined with undernourished people in the setbacks in others. Even within a developing world, compared with single country, it is not uncommon 20 percent in 1990–92. to find differences among regions. A number of countries suffering Experiences documented so far setbacks in hunger reduction are show that hunger reduction is experiencing conflict or other forms possible, even in some of the of disaster. But, likewise, projections poorest countries in the world. show a formidable task ahead for There is much to be learnt from countries which may be free of these successful cases. Countries conflict, but which rely on a poor experiencing setbacks, on the other agricultural resource base and hand, underscore the need for us to exhibit weak overall economic and scale up proven models and institutional development in the face strategies while, at the same time, of persistently high rates of sharpening the focus on problem population growth. areas where hunger is endemic and When assessing progress within persistent. countries, it is generally in the rural Among the developing regions areas that hunger is concentrated. today, the greatest challenge is the At present, it is in these areas that one facing sub-Saharan Africa. It is the majority of poor and food- the region with the highest insecure people live. In turn, urban prevalence of undernourishment, poverty tends to be fuelled by people with one in three people deprived of migrating towards the cities in an access to sufficient food. FAO’s attempt to escape the deprivations projections suggest that the associated with rural livelihoods. prevalence of hunger in this region Partly due to the rural decline, the will decline by 2015 but that the world is urbanizing at a fast pace The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2006 5
  8. 8. and it will not be long before a rural economy, are often a greater part of developing country prerequisite for accelerated hunger populations is living in large cities. reduction. The agriculture sector Therefore, urban food security and tends to be the engine of growth for its related problems should also be entire rural economies, and placed high on the agenda in the productivity-driven increases in years to come. agricultural output can expand food supplies and reduce food prices in Twin track – a tried and effective local markets, raise farm incomes approach and boost the overall local economy by generating demand for locally The concentration of hunger in rural produced goods and services. areas suggests that no sustained By now, it is well understood reduction in hunger is possible that hunger compromises the without special emphasis on health and productivity of agricultural and rural development. individuals and their efforts to In countries and regions where escape poverty. It acts as a brake on hunger remains widespread, the potential economic and social agriculture often holds the key to development of whole societies. It is achieving both economic progress no coincidence that more rapid and sustained reductions in advances have been made in poverty undernourishment. History has reduction as opposed to hunger taught us that, in general, those alleviation. Indeed, escaping poverty countries that have managed to seems to be much more difficult for reduce hunger have not only hungry people, who are experienced more rapid overall disadvantaged in their capacity economic growth but have also to earn a livelihood. Accelerating achieved greater gains in hunger reduction consequently agricultural productivity than those requires direct measures to help experiencing setbacks or stagnation. people who are both poor and ill-fed It follows that investments in to escape the hunger-poverty trap. agriculture, and more broadly in the Empirical evidence from an 2 Progress and setbacks in hunger reduction from 1990–92 to 2001–03 Transition countries Sub-Saharan Africa Near East and North Africa Latin America and the Caribbean Asia and the Pacific -80 -60 -40 -20 0 20 40 60 Change in number of undernourished people (millions) Countries having achieved the WFS target Countries having progressed towards the WFS target Setback countries Source: FAO 6 The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2006
  9. 9. increasing number of countries hunger” with renewed vigour, illustrates the powerful contribution seeking to honour the commitments that direct and carefully targeted made ten years ago but, ideally, measures can make to both hunger aiming well beyond the WFS target. and poverty reduction. We must dispel any complacency A twin-track approach, that may be engendered by the emphasizing direct action against abundance of world food supplies, by hunger along with a focus on the general increase in agricultural agricultural and rural development, productivity, or by the expansion of is effective in providing the most international trade possibilities. vulnerable and food-insecure people The coexistence of food abundance with new livelihood possibilities and or even overnutrition with food hope for a better life. Efforts to deprivation, even in the same promote the twin-track approach as countries or communities, has been the principal strategic framework for a reality for decades and, unless hunger reduction should therefore be conditions conducive to chronic at the centre of poverty reduction hunger are eliminated, the two initiatives at all levels. extremes will continue to coexist in the future. Reaching the WFS goal: Is the 2015 WFS target still it can be done attainable? The answer should be a resounding “Yes”, as long as Conditions are currently ripe for concrete and concerted action, hastening effective hunger reduction following the WFS Plan of Action, is strategies and moving countries taken and stepped up immediately. decisively towards the WFS target Already ten years ago, signatories to and beyond – towards the total the Rome Declaration emphasized eradication of world hunger. It is fair the urgency of the task “for which to say that the international the primary responsibility rests with community today pays more individual governments”, but for attention to hunger as an intrinsic which cooperation with international and pressing development issue. organizations and civil society – Hunger has been raised to a more including both public and private prominent position in national anti- sectors – is vital. Today, we are poverty programmes and similar confident that the race against initiatives, and there is more hunger can still be won, but only if widespread and vocal the necessary resources, political acknowledgement of the fact that the will and correct policies are persistence of chronic hunger in the forthcoming. We fully agree with the midst of plenty is an unacceptable principal conclusion of the UN contradiction. On the part of Millennium Project’s Hunger Task governments, civil society and other Force: It can be done. organizations, there is a greater awareness of the steps that need to be taken and, more importantly, the resolve to instigate and catalyse the necessary action appears to have been strengthened. Today, ten years after the WFS we Jacques Diouf can resume the “race against FAO Director-General The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2006 7
  10. 10. Undernourishment around the world Counting the hungry: trends in the developing world and countries in transition1 en years after the 1996 Rome T World Food Summit (WFS), the number of undernourished people in the world remains The World Food Summit and Millennium Development Goal targets stubbornly high. In 2001–03, FAO The World Food Summit in 1996 established the target of halving the number of estimates there were still 854 million undernourished people by no later than 2015. FAO uses the average of the period undernourished people worldwide: 1990–92 as the baseline for monitoring progress towards this target. 820 million in the developing One of the two targets of the first Millennium Development Goal is to halve, between countries, 25 million in the transition 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger. countries and 9 million in the The WFS target is the more ambitious of the two. Indeed, continued population growth industrialized countries.2 means that the proportion of hungry people in the developing countries will need to be Virtually no progress has been cut by much more than half if the target is to be met. If the MDG target is achieved in made towards the WFS target of 2015 by the developing countries as a group, current population projections suggest that halving the number of under- we will still be left with around 585 million undernourished, far more (173 million) than nourished people by 2015. Since the WFS target of 412 million. On the other hand, reaching the WFS target will require a 1990–92, the baseline period for the reduction in the proportion of undernourished in the developing countries to 7 percent, WFS target, the undernourished which is 10 percentage points lower than the current level of 17 percent. population in the developing countries has declined by only 3 million people: from 823 million to 820 million. This contrasts starkly with the reduction of resulted in a reduction in the was slower than over the previous 37 million achieved in the 1970s and proportion of undernourished people two decades, when the prevalence of of 100 million in the 1980s. Moreover, in the developing countries by undernourishment declined by the most recent trends are a cause 3 percentage points – from 9 percent (from 37 percent to for concern – a decline of 20 percent in 1990–92 to 17 percent 28 percent) between 1969–71 26 million between 1990–92 and in 2001–03. This means that and 1979–81 and by a further 1995–97 was followed by an increase progress has continued towards the 8 percentage points (to 20 percent) of 23 million up to 2001–03. first Millennium Development Goal between 1979–81 and 1990–92.3 Because of population growth, the (MDG 1) of halving the percentage of Success in meeting the WFS target very small decrease in the number of undernourished people by 2015. will require a reversal of recent hungry people has nevertheless However, progress over this period trends in the number of hungry 3 4 Undernourished 2001–03 Number of undernourished and the World Food Summit target (millions) Latin America/ Millions 1990–92* 1995–97 2001–03 WFS target Caribbean 52 900 Asia/Pacific* Near East and 162 North Africa 38 800 700 600 World Sub- Saharan 500 854 Africa Developing world 206 400 820 300 India 212 200 Transition countries 25 100 China Industrialized 0 Developing Asia/ Latin America/ Near East and Sub-Saharan Transition 150 countries 9 world Pacific Caribbean North Africa Africa countries * Excluding China and India Source: FAO * For the transition countries: 1993–95 Source: FAO 8 The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2006
  11. 11. 5 people and a sharp acceleration in Proportion of undernourished people and the Millennium the rate of reduction of the proportion Development Goal target of undernourished. Indeed, even if the MDG target were to be reached by Percentage of population 1990–92* 1995–97 2001–03 MDG target 2015, the WFS target would still be 40 far from being met (see box). In order 35 to attain the WFS target in the 30 developing countries, the number of 25 undernourished people must be 20 reduced by 31 million per year 15 10 between 2001–03 and 2015. 5 0 Regional trends in Developing Asia/ Latin America/ Near East and Sub-Saharan Transition world Pacific Caribbean North Africa Africa countries undernourishment4 * For the transition countries: 1993–95 Source: FAO Global stagnation in hunger reduction masks significant 6 disparities among regions: Asia and Ratio of undernourishment (number and prevalence) in 2001–03 to the Pacific and Latin America and 1990–92 the Caribbean have seen an overall reduction in both the number and Ratio Ratio for number – WFS target Ratio for prevalence – MDG target prevalence of undernourished 2.0 people since the WFS baseline period. Nevertheless, in both 1.5 regions the average rate of 1.0 reduction has fallen short of what would be required to halve the 0.5 undernourished population by 2015. 0.0 Furthermore, in the case of Asia and Developing Asia/ Latin America/ Near East and Sub-Saharan Transition world Pacific Caribbean North Africa Africa countries* the Pacific the number of * For the transition countries the baseline period is 1993–95 rather than 1990–92. Source: FAO undernourished has reverted to an increasing trend over the latter part of the decade, although the prevalence has continued to decline. the share of undernourished people since 1990–92, albeit from a Underlying this reversal are larger in the region’s population saw a relatively low base. Following the absolute numbers in China and India significant decline: from 35 percent significant reduction in the numbers in 2001–03 relative to 1995–97. in 1990–92 to 32 percent in 2001–03, of undernourished achieved during On the other hand, both in the Near after having reached 36 percent in the 1970s, the trend in subsequent East and North Africa and in sub- 1995–97. This is an encouraging decades has been consistently Saharan Africa the number of development, but the task facing the upwards. The decade since the WFS undernourished people has risen region remains daunting: the baseline period constituted no during the 11-year period following the number of undernourished people exception, although the rate of WFS baseline. In sub-Saharan Africa, increased from 169 million to increase slowed in the later years. this represents the continuation of a 206 million while reaching the WFS For the transition countries, the trend that has been apparent over at target will require a reduction to number of undernourished people least the last three decades. 85 million by 2015. has increased slightly, from 23 In sub-Saharan Africa, recent The Near East and North Africa million to 25 million.5 This rise is progress in reducing the prevalence is the only region in which both attributed mainly to higher numbers of undernourishment is noteworthy. the number and proportion of in the Commonwealth of For the first time in several decades, undernourished has risen Independent States (CIS), where the The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2006 9
  12. 12. Undernourishment around the world 7 8 Changes in1990s and prevalence of GDP in the number of undernourished Changes in1990s and prevalence of GDP in the proportion of undernourished in subregions from 1990–92 to 2001–03 undernourishment in 2000 in subregions from 1990–92 to 2001–03 undernourishment in 2000 China Southern Africa Southeast Asia West Africa, excl. Nigeria South America East Africa India The Caribbean The Caribbean Southeast Asia West Africa, excl. Nigeria India Nigeria South America Mexico Nigeria North Africa China Southern Africa South Asia, excl. India Central America North Africa East Asia, excl. China Mexico South Asia, excl. India Near East East Africa Central America Near East East Asia, excl. China Central Africa Central Africa -50 -40 -30 -20 -10 0 10 20 30 -15 -10 -5 0 5 10 15 20 25 Millions Source: FAO Percentage points Source: FAO majority of the region’s prevalence of undernourishment, and prevalence of hunger declined, but undernourished people are found. in the cases of Asia and the Pacific the outcome in terms of reducing and Latin America and the Caribbean the number of undernourished was The WFS and MDG targets: progress has been quite significant. small, as a reduction in the first part regional progress and setbacks of the decade (1990–92 to 1995–97) Subregional trends in was subsequently reversed. At the The degree of regional progress undernourishment6 same time, the number of towards the WFS and MDG targets is undernourished increased in the illustrated by Figure 6, which shows Regional trends in undernourishment rest of East Asia (excluding China) the ratio of the number and the since the WFS baseline period and, particularly, in the rest of South prevalence of undernourished, conceal significant differences at the Asia (excluding India). respectively, in 2001–03 to that of subregional level, as illustrated by A significant contribution to 1990–92. A ratio of 0.5 or lower Figures 7 and 8. Within the sub- progress towards the WFS target in implies that the respective target Saharan Africa region, the the Latin American and Caribbean (WFS target for the number and subregions of Southern Africa, East region was made by South America, MDG target for the prevalence) has Africa and West Africa all saw a while the number of hungry people been achieved. A ratio of less than decline in the prevalence of increased in Central America and 1.0 indicates progress towards the undernourishment (although not Mexico. In the Near East and North target while a ratio of more than 1.0 necessarily in the number of Africa, the absolute number of indicates a setback. Only Asia and undernourished); by contrast, undernourished is the smallest of the Pacific and Latin America and Central Africa experienced a all the developing country regions, the Caribbean have made progress dramatic increase in both the but it increased both in North Africa towards the WFS target, but neither number of hungry people and and in the Near East, with the latter region is close to reaching it. The prevalence of undernourishment. also seeing an increase in the remaining regions have all moved In Asia (where China and India are prevalence of hunger. away from the target by varying treated as separate subregions in Globally, most subregions degrees. view of the size of their populations) experienced a reduction in the Prospects for achieving the MDG significant progress in reducing the prevalence of undernourishment. target look more promising. All number of undernourished people However, any significant progress developing country regions except was made in China and the populous towards reducing the global number the Near East and North Africa have subregion of Southeast Asia. of undernourished was concentrated made inroads towards reducing the In India, on the other hand, the in very few, but populous, 10 The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2006
  13. 13. subregions: China, Southeast Asia food security situation in the reducing the absolute numbers: and South America. Democratic Republic of the Congo. South Asia (excluding India), West Apart from the Baltic States, only Africa and India. The World Food Summit target: China, Southeast Asia, South Other subregions with lower levels subregional progress and setbacks America and the Caribbean have of undernourishment that show a moved decisively towards the WFS worrying increase in both prevalence Progress and setbacks in hunger target. The first three, owing to their and numbers of undernourished are reduction in the subregions are large populations, are also the East Asia (excluding China) – mainly shown in Figure 9. For each subregions that have provided the due to a worsening situation in the subregion, the ratio indicating the most substantive contribution Democratic People’s Republic of distance from the WFS target is towards a reduction in the number Korea – the Near East and Central plotted against the prevalence of of undernourished. It is also worth America. undernourishment. A ratio between noting that in all these subregions, Clearly, progress towards the WFS 1.0 and 0.5 implies progress towards except the Caribbean, prevalence of target is concentrated in too few the target whereas one of 0.5 or less undernourishment is lower than the subregions and generally in those indicates the target has been average of the developing countries. with a prevalence of under- achieved or surpassed. A ratio In addition to Central Africa, nourishment below the average for greater than 1.0 indicates setback. also East Africa and Southern Africa the developing countries. Global The two extremes – the Baltic call for priority attention in view progress is largely determined by a States and Central Africa – illustrate of their high prevalence of under- few subregions with large the wide disparity in progress in the nourishment. In both subregions, populations, while too many others fight against hunger. The Baltic the number of hungry people has have seen virtually no progress or States, with the lowest prevalence of continued to increase in spite of a have even experienced setbacks. To undernourishment, have already reduction in the prevalence of accelerate the pace of global hunger reduced the numbers by more than hunger. Substantial acceleration of reduction, it is essential to halt and half; Central Africa, with the highest progress will be needed if the WFS reverse the rising trend in numbers prevalence (56 percent of the target is to be met. The same applies where it occurs and to broaden population), has been moving rapidly to other regions with somewhat success in hunger reduction to other away from the WFS target as a lower levels of undernourishment subregions. This will evidently be result of a dramatically worsening but with limited or no progress in critical in those subregions where the 9 Progress towards the WFS target: ratio of number of undernourished in 2001–03 to 1990–92* and prevalence of undernourishment in 2001–03 Ratio: current number to baseline (2001–03/1990–92*) 2.5 Departing from WFS target Setback Central Africa 2.0 East Asia, excl. China North Africa Near East . 1.5 Mexico Central America Developing East Africa CIS Oceania countries South Asia, excl. India India Southern Africa 1.0 Eastern Europe Nigeria Southeast Asia West Africa, excl. Nigeria Moving towards WFS target Caribbean Progress South America China 0.5 Baltic States Beyond WFS target 0.0 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Prevalence of undernourishment 2001–03 (percent) * For the transition countries: 1993–95 Source: FAO The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2006 11
  14. 14. Undernourishment around the world prevalence of undernourishment is projected to drop by exactly half from target. Sub-Saharan Africa and the most severe. the base rate (in 1990–92) of 20.3 Near East and North Africa, on the percent to 10.1 percent in 2015. contrary, are expected to suffer an Undernourishment in the lead-up If this happens, the MDG hunger increase, reaching higher numbers to 2015 reduction target will be met. The in 2015 than in 1990–92.8 Latin same cannot be said for the WFS America and the Caribbean and Despite painfully slow global commitment, as the number of South Asia, while projected to reach progress in hunger reduction over undernourished people in 2015 is the MDG target, are not on track for the last decade, a positive sign expected to remain in excess of its the WFS target. The recent comes from some of FAO’s latest target by 170 million hungry people. increasing trends in the number of projections, which indicate an A reduced number of under- undernourished people in South acceleration in the future (see table).7 nourished people is not envisaged Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and the The prevalence of hunger in the for all developing regions. Only East Near East and North Africa are likely developing countries as a group is Asia is expected to reach the WFS to be reversed, but, of these three, only South Asia is foreseen to reach the MDG target. Projected undernourishment in the developing world Food intake and population growth Number of undernourished people Prevalence of undernourishment Projected progress in hunger (millions) (percentage of population) 1990–92* 2015 WFS target 1990–92* 2015 MDG target reduction mirrors significant Developing countries 823 582 412 20.3 10.1 10.2 increases in average per capita food Sub-Saharan Africa 170 179 85 35.7 21.1 17.9 consumption. Despite the overall Near East and North Africa 24 36 12 7.6 7.0 3.8 gains in food consumption, Latin America and the Caribbean 60 41 30 13.4 6.6 6.7 in several countries the increases South Asia 291 203 146 25.9 12.1 13.0 will not be sufficient to allow for a East Asia** 277 123 139 16.5 5.8 8.3 significant reduction in the number of Notes The base period for projections is 1999–2001 and not 2001–03. Some small countries have also been excluded undernourished people. In particular, from the projections. sub-Saharan Africa will still have an * Data for 1990–92 may differ slightly from numbers reported elsewhere in the report as the projections are based on undernourishment estimates that do not include the latest revisions. average per capita daily calorie ** Includes Southeast Asia. Source: FAO intake of 2 420 kilocalories (kcal) (2 285 kcal when Nigeria is excluded) in 2015 – close to that of South Asia 10 at the turn of the century. Low initial levels of calorie intake, coupled with Trends and projections in per capita food consumption high population growth, will contribute to the slow reductions in the number of undernourished kcal/person/day 1969–71 1979–81 1989–91 1999–2001 2015 3 500 people. Reducing hunger will be 3 000 particularly difficult for countries 2 500 characterized by historically very 2 000 high levels of hunger prevalence, 1 500 very low food consumption (under 1 000 2 200 kcal/person/day in 1999–2001), 500 low economic growth prospects, high 0 population growth rates and a Developing Sub-Saharan Near East and Latin America/ South Asia East and limited agricultural resource base. countries Africa North Africa Caribbean Southeast Asia Source: FAO Thirty-two countries fall into this category – with undernourishment 12 The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2006
  15. 15. 11 Different methodologies are used Trends and projections for growth in per capita GDP to estimate poverty and under- nourishment and the figures are not directly comparable. However, Percentage 1980s 1990s 2001–15 7 a closer look at trends for both indicators in the developing 6 countries reveals that poverty has 5 tended to decline more rapidly than 4 undernourishment. The World Bank 3 and FAO projections for these 2 indicators suggest that this trend 1 will continue. In fact, the differences 0 in calculations notwithstanding, -1 there were 1.5 poor people for every -2 hungry person in 1990–92; by 2015, Developing countries Sub-Saharan Africa Near East and North Africa Latin America/ Caribbean South Asia East Asia/ Pacific the corresponding figures are Source: World Bank. 2006. Global Economic Prospects 2006, Table 1.2. Washington, DC. projected to be 1.2 to one. These past trends and projections suggest that poverty reduction does 12 not benefit proportionately those rates ranging from 29 to 72 percent among the poor who are also of the population and an average Poverty and undernourishment undernourished. Although the prevalence of 42 percent. Their reasons for the slower rate of current population of 580 million is hunger reduction are not clear, an Percentage of population projected to rise to 1.39 billion by 35 important factor may be that hunger 2050. Their current average food US$1 poverty itself acts as a barrier to escaping 30 consumption of 2 000 kcal/person/day Undernourishment* poverty (the hunger trap). Past 25 has actually fallen below that of editions of The State of Food 30 years ago. Despite their poor 20 Insecurity in the World as well as historical record, however, several 15 the World Food Summit: five years of these countries could achieve 10 later have emphasized that hunger significant gains by prioritizing the 5 is not only a consequence but also a development of local food 0 cause of poverty, and that it production, as other countries have 1990 2002 2015 compromises the productive done in the past. * For undernourishment, historical data potential of individuals, families and refer to 1990–92 and 2000–02. Source: US$1 poverty rates adapted entire nations. In the 2004 edition of Undernourishment from World Bank. 2006. Global Economic Prospects. this report, an extensive analysis of 2006. Washington, DC. For undernourishment, and poverty see FAO. 2006. World agriculture: towards 2030/2050. the social and economic costs of Interim report. Prospects for food, nutrition, agriculture and major commodity groups, p. 19. Rome. hunger was presented. Growth in per capita incomes will An important policy implication of contribute to hunger alleviation by this relationship would be that, in reducing poverty and increasing per the absence of purposeful action, capita food demand.9 Higher growth Figure 12 presents trends and hunger will compromise efforts to rates in per capita GDP relative to projections for poverty and reduce poverty globally. Income the 1990s are projected for all undernourishment rates, which, growth, while necessary, is not regions and country groups, with the significantly, indicate that the always sufficient for eradicating exception of East Asia, which poverty target of MDG 1 (halving hunger. Specific measures targeted nevertheless remains the region with the proportion of the poor by 2015) directly at ensuring access to food the highest growth rate (over 5.0 will be reached in the baseline are an indispensable component of percent/year in per capita terms). scenario. effective hunger eradication efforts. The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2006 13
  16. 16. Undernourishment in the regions Asia and the Pacific sia and the Pacific region Between 1990–92 and 2001–03, for population growth – only 9 of the A accounts for 68 percent of the developing world’s population and 64 percent of its the number of undernourished people in the region declined from 570 million to 524 million and the region’s 17 countries reduced the number of undernourished people. To reach the WFS target by 2015, undernourished population. The prevalence of undernourishment progress must be accelerated. prevalence of undernourishment dropped from 20 to 16 percent. Every The decline in the number of – at 16 percent of the total country except the Democratic hungry people in Asia and the Pacific population – is second only to People’s Republic of Korea10 saw a was driven mainly by China, which Africa’s among the developing decline in prevalence, but it was not saw a reduction from 194 million to country regions. sufficient in all cases to compensate 150 million. India has the largest number of undernourished people in 13 the world, 212 million – only marginally below the 215 million Number of undernourished people: Asia and the Pacific estimated for 1990–92. Bangladesh and Pakistan, both with high levels of prevalence, account for 15 percent Millions 1990–92 1995–97 2001–03 250 of the hungry people in the region, with Pakistan showing an increase 200 in both prevalence and in absolute number. 150 Individual country progress towards the WFS target is shown in 100 Figure 15. No country in the region has yet met the target. Two 50 countries, Myanmar and Viet Nam, have reduced the number of 0 undernourished people by more Southeast Asia China East Asia India South Asia (excl. China) (excl. India) than 25 percent. In addition to these, Source: FAO the most significant progress in relative terms has been achieved by China, Thailand and Indonesia. The 14 most serious deterioration in food security has been experienced by Proportion of undernourished people: Asia and the Pacific the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, where the number of undernourished people more than Percentage of population 1990–92 1995–97 2001–03 35 doubled: from 3.6 million to 7.9 million. 30 25 Fighting hunger: determinants of success and setbacks 20 15 In most countries of the region, the majority of the population – and 10 most of the poor and food-insecure 5 – live in rural areas. A vibrant rural 0 economy is therefore a prerequisite Southeast Asia China East Asia India South Asia (excl. China) (excl. India) for reducing undernourishment. Source: FAO Productivity-driven (yield- increasing) growth in agriculture can 14 The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2006
  17. 17. 15 Number of undernourished: country progress and setbacks in Asia and the Pacific Ratio: current number to baseline (2001–03/1990–92) 2.5 Departing from WFS target Setback Dem. People’s Rep. of Korea 2.0 1.5 Pakistan Malaysia Bangladesh Nepal Cambodia Republic of Korea India 1.0 Lao People’s Dem. Rep. Philippines Moving towards WFS target Indonesia Sri Lanka Mongolia China Viet Nam Thailand Myanmar 0.5 Progress Beyond WFS target 0.0 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 Prevalence of undernourishment 2001–03 (percent) Source: FAO have a strong positive impact on the important as they, and rural and rural off-farm activities sustain rural non-farm economy through labourers, are more likely to spend each other. Such growth can make a boosting demand for locally the additional income on food and powerful contribution towards produced non-agricultural goods basic non-farm products and reducing the numbers of and by keeping food prices low. services deriving from rural areas. undernourished, especially when Increasing the productivity of small- Agricultural growth thus generates initial income inequality is not too scale farmers is especially a virtuous cycle in which agricultural marked and population growth is moderate. China and Viet Nam exemplify this process. From 1990–92 to 2001–03, Food insecurity in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea the number of hungry people in China declined from 194 million to 150 million and the prevalence of The Democratic People’s Republic are not available, making it difficult to undernourishment from 16 percent of Korea has seen a sharp increase assess the extent of the problem. to 12 percent. This was achieved in both the prevalence of under- However, available data on food through strong economic and nourishment and the number production indicate that this variable, agricultural growth – real per capita of hungry people over the period 1990–92 in per capita terms, declined at a rate of GDP increased at an average annual to 2001–03: the prevalence doubled and 2.2 percent per year over this period. rate of 8 percent between 1990 and the absolute number more than doubled In 2003, the vast majority of the country’s 2003, while per capita agricultural (to almost 8 million people). 23 million people were dependent on GDP grew by 2.5 percent and per The underlying cause appears to cereals received through the public capita food production by 5.4 percent have been negative trends in economic distribution system. per year. At the same time, the growth. Statistics on GDP growth annual population growth rate was only 1 percent. The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2006 15
  18. 18. Undernourishment in the regions 16 reduction can accelerate over the Undernourishment, GDP per capita and agricultural GDP per worker next decade. (percentage change 1990–92 to 2001–03) Between 1990–92 and 2001–03, Viet Nam reduced the prevalence of Number of undernourished 100 undernourishment from 31 to 17 percent and the number of Developing world undernourished people from 80 Asia and the Pacific 21 million to 14 million. As in China, 60 accelerated hunger and poverty reduction originated with market- 40 oriented economic and agricultural reforms, which were implemented 20 in the 1980s. An economic reform programme gave farmers control 0 over land, allowed them to increase sales to the market and reduced -20 agricultural taxation. Also as in the case of China, the drivers were strong per capita growth in GDP (5.7 percent/year between 1990 and 2003) and agricultural GDP (2.5 percent/year) as well as GDP per capita Agricultural GDP per worker rapid expansion in food production. Source: FAO and World Bank A poverty eradication programme targeting investments in rural infrastructure also contributed to boosting agricultural production and In fact, the rapid reduction of poor people in rural China fell from hunger reduction. Viet Nam remains hunger and poverty in China started about 490 million in 1979 to about a low-income country, and keeping much earlier, originating with 90 million in 2002 in terms of the up the momentum in reducing two major agricultural reforms World Bank’s US$1-a-day poverty hunger presents a formidable in 1978, when families were line.13 The number of under- challenge. permitted to lease land from the nourished people was reduced from Cambodia and India saw collectives and state procurement 387 million in 1969–71 to the current virtually no change in the total prices for foodgrains, oilcrops and figure of 150 million. number of undernourished people hogs were raised.11 Agricultural The rate of hunger reduction in despite strong growth in per capita output and incomes rose China slowed down during the income of 4 percent per year dramatically in response, with second half of the 1990s.14 This, at from 1993 to 2003 in Cambodia rural per capita income increasing least in part, is attributable to the and 3.9 percent per year from 1990 by 90 percent between 1980 and weak economic performance of to 2003 in India. However, the good 1985. From 1985 onwards, rural the relatively isolated and overall economic performance non-farm enterprises also began to disadvantaged rural areas where the was spread unevenly among sectors expand rapidly. By 2000 they had majority of the remaining and was not underpinned by strong absorbed about a quarter of the undernourished people are located. agricultural growth; per capita rural labour force and were The bulk of agricultural output agricultural GDP increased at an contributing about 30 percent to comes from about 200 million very annual rate of only 0.7 percent national GDP, while farm small (0.65 ha or less) farms.15 between 1993 and 2003 in Cambodia households were deriving almost Recent steps by the Government of and by 0.9 percent from 1990 to 2003 50 percent of their incomes from China to revitalize rural areas holds in India.16 non-farm sources.12 The number of out the promise that hunger 16 The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2006

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