Zero Hunger Challenge Discussion January 2014


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Event organized by IFPRI, FAO, and Community for Zero Hunger "The Zero Hunger Challenge - Achieving the Right to Food for All" presentation by Jomo Kwame Sundaram, FAO
on January 30, 2014

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  • Most recent estimates indicate that 842 million people – or 12 percent of the global population – were unable to meet their dietary energy requirements in 2011–13. Figures is down from 868 million reported for the 2010–12 period in last year’s report. Thus, around one in eight people in the world are likely to have suffered from chronic hunger, not having enough food for an active and healthy life. The vast majority of hungry people – 827 million of them – live in developing regions, where the prevalence of undernourishment is now estimated at 14.3 percent in 2011–13. Compared to the baseline period (1990-92), the Number of undernourished people has gone down about 17 percent in developing regions, while the prevalence of undernourishment in total population has gone down by 39 percent in the same regions.
  • There are two established targets against which progress in reducing hunger is assessed. One is the 1996 World Food Summit (WFS) goal, which is to halve the number of hungry people; the other is the 2001 Millennium Development Goal (MDG) hunger target, which is to halve the proportion of hungry people in the total population. Both targets have 1990 as the starting year and 2015 as the target year. The WFS goal is out of reach: to meet it, the number of hungry people in developing regions would have to be reduced from the current 842 million to 498 million by 2015. However, many individual countries are on track to meet the WFS target: indeed, 18 countries had already met it in 2012 and received a special recognition during the 2013 FAO Conference. The MDG 1 hunger target is closer. The current assessment pegs undernourishment in developing regions at around 24 percent of the population in 1990–92, thus implying an MDG target of 12 percent. Assuming that the average annual decline over the past 21 years continues to 2015, undernourishment in developing countries would be 13 percent, marginally above the MDG target. Hence this target could be met provided that more efforts to fight hunger are brought underway, both to address immediate needs and to sustain longer-term progress.
  • The key message here is that progress has been made in almost all regions, but at very different ratesSub-Saharan Africa has the highest prevalence of undernourishment, despite there has been some improvement over the last two decades, with the prevalence of undernourishment declining from 32.7 percent to 24.8 percent. Northern Africa, by contrast, is characterized by a much lower prevalence of undernourishment and by much faster progress than sub-Saharan Africa. Overall, Africa is not on track to achieve the MDG hunger target, reflecting too little progress in both parts of the continent. Both the number and proportion of people undernourished have decreased significantly in most countries in Asia, particularly in South-Eastern Asia, but progress in Southern Asia has been slower, especially in terms of the number of people undernourished. The prevalence of undernourishment is lower in Western Asia than in other parts of the region but has risen steadily since 1990–92. With a decline in prevalence from 31.1 to 10.7 percent, the most rapid progress was recorded in South-Eastern Asia, followed by Eastern Asia. The Asia region as a whole is nearly on track to achieve the MDG hunger target. The MDG target has already been reached in the Caucasus and Central Asia, East Asia and South-Eastern Asia, while it has nearly been reached in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • While at the global level there has been an overall reduction in the number of undernourished between 1990–92 and 2011–13, different rates of progress across regions have led to changes in the distribution of undernourished people in the world. Most of the world’s undernourished people are still to be found in Southern Asia, closely followed by Eastern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. The regional share has declined most in Eastern Asia and South-Eastern Asia, and to a lesser extent in Latin America and the Caribbean and in the Caucasus and Central Asia. Meanwhile, the share has increased in Southern Asia, in sub-Saharan Africa and in Western Asia and Northern Africa.
  • What was the impact of high food prices on food security in poor countries? New data show that while food producers faced high price risks over the last years, the variability and spikes in consumers prices were more limited than initially expected. Juxtaposing data on global and regional food consumer price indices suggests that food price hikes at the primary commodity level generally have little effect on consumer prices, and that the swings in consumer prices were much more muted than those faced by agricultural producers or recorded in international trade. Such limited transmission of producer prices to consumer prices is explained, in large measure, by the time required to ship and process primary products into final food items for consumers. This is true even in regions characterized by short supply chains and high levels of subsistence production. In addition, the impact of price swings on undernourishment is reduced by consumers switching between food items. When prices rise, consumers often shift from more expensive and more nutritious foodstuffs to less expensive but often also less-nutritious foods. While this allows consumers to maintain their dietary energy intake, it heightens the risk of other forms of malnutrition, which are not captured by the Prevalence of Undernourishment. This is one among other reason why SOFI 2013 introduces multiple dimensions of food security, measured through a suite of food security indicators.
  • Zero Hunger Challenge Discussion January 2014

    1. 1. Rising to the Zero Hunger Challenge IFPRI, Washington DC 30 January 2014
    2. 2. Background • ZHC inspired by June 2012 UN SG Rio+20 speech • 5 elements • HLTF coordinating 23 UN entities
    3. 3. Undernourishment in the world • 842 million people estimated to be in chronic hunger in 2011– 13 -- down from 868 million in 2010-12 • 827 million live in developing countries
    4. 4. Hunger progress mixed WFS goal out of reach: number of hungry people in developing regions should diminish to 498 million by 2015 MDG 1c hunger target closer
    5. 5. Progress in most regions, but very uneven
    6. 6. Hunger by region, 1990-2013
    7. 7. International price volatility not fully transmitted Changes in consumer prices of food much smaller than changes in international and producer prices, and significantly delayed
    8. 8. Recent hunger trends • At least 842 million undernourished in 2011–13, down from 868 million in 2010-12 • Significant progress towards MDG 1c hunger target for developing regions, but WFS global goal out of reach • Sub-Saharan Africa has highest prevalence of undernourishment but modest progress. West Asia: no progress. South Asia, North Africa: slow progress • Significant progress in East + South-East Asia, Latin America • Price hikes in primary food markets had uneven effects on consumer prices and PoU
    9. 9. Addressing malnutrition 1. Dietary energy undernourishment [hunger] 2. Micronutrient deficiencies [hidden hunger] 3. NCDs vulnerability [assoc. w. obesity, etc.] • >2 bn suffer micronutrient deficiencies • 45% of 6.9m child deaths in 2011 linked to malnutrition • 162 children <5 stunted • 99m children <5 underweight
    10. 10. ZHC tasks, responsibilities ZHC elements 100% access to adequate food all year round Zero stunted children less than 2 years 100% food systems are sustainable Increase smallholder productivity and income by 100% Zero waste or loss of food Themes: Advocacy; unified messaging; coherence across topics; resource mobilization; communications with HLTF members; partnerships strategy; country engagement; principles for countrylevel coordination; rights based approaches; Production; resilience; access; food system governance; emergencies and protracted crises; right to food; food system efficiency; agricultural transformation; food price stability; root causes of food insecurity; early warning, action Food and nutrition advocacy; objectives and measures; foodagriculture-nutrition interactions; multiple burdens; rights-based approaches; coordination with SCN, SUN, ICN2, post2015 Objectives and measures; food insecurityenvironment links; reduced carbon footprint; climateland-energy-waterdevelopment nexus; climate smart agriculture; natural resources/capital management; science base; technology sharing; climate finance related to food production/systems; poverty and environment Smallholder productivity; goals and measures; social protection; rural livelihoods; gender mainstreaming; poverty eradication; agrarian transformation; investment; education; right to development; right to food; tenure; principles of responsible investment in agriculture Advocacy [e.g., “Eat, Think, Save” (joint FAO UNEP)]; objectives and measures; food system value chains; distribution, storage and consumption; HLTF Vice Chair: FAO DG Deputy: SRSG WFP FAO WHO WFP WB FAO ILO IFAD UNEP FAO HLTF members supporting ZHC element FAO, IFAD, WFP, OCHA, FAO, WFP, OHCHR, UNHCR, OHCHR, UNICEF, WHO UNCTAD, UNICEF, IMFWB, WTO, EOSG, DESA, OSAA, OHRLLS FAO, IFAD, UNEP, FAO, IFAD, ILO, UNHCR, WB, WHO, OHCHR, UNCTAD, DESA, UN MDGs/SDSN OECD UNEP, FAO, WB, UN MDGs/SDSN
    11. 11. Key challenges • ‘Light touch’ coordination • Communications engagement • Zero Hunger Community? civil society, private sector mobilization – Partnerships? • Regional and national mobilizations?