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The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2017

After steadily declining for over a decade, global hunger appears to be on the rise once more, with multiple forms of malnutrition threatening the health of millions. The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World warns that the greater number of conflicts, whose impacts are often exacerbated by climate-related shocks, is one of the main drivers behind this shift. This is threatening to derail the international commitment to end hunger and all forms of malnutrition by 2030.

The report also examines the ways in which food insecurity can trigger conflicts, and provides valuable insights into how food security can help prevent the outbreak of unrest and violence. Thanks to the collaboration of five UN agencies, with WHO and UNICEF joining IFAD and WFP as partners under FAO’s lead, this report is a first step towards a comprehensive global analysis of the links between food security and nutrition. ( In Brief)

Full report

Key messages:

  • In 2016 the number of chronically undernourished people in the world is estimated to have increased to 815 million, up from 777 million in 2015 although still down from about 900 million in 2000.
  • After a prolonged decline, this recent increase could signal a reversal of trends. The food security situation has worsened  in parts of sub-Saharan Africa, South-Eastern Asia and Western Asia, and deteriorations have been observed most notably in situations of conflict and conflict combined with droughts or floods.
  • Multiple forms of malnutrition coexist, with countries experiencing simultaneously high rates of child undernutrition, anaemia among women, and adult obesity. Rising rates of overweight and obesity add to these concerns. Childhood overweight and obesity are increasing in most regions, and in all regions for adults.
  • The number of conflicts is also on the rise. Exacerbated by climate-related shocks, conflicts seriously affect food security and are a cause of much of the recent increase in food insecurity.
  • Conflict is a key driver of situations of severe food crisis and recently re-emerged famines, while hunger and undernutrition are significantly worse where conflicts are prolonged and institutional capacities weak.
  • Addressing food insecurity and malnutrition in conflict-affected situations cannot be “business as usual”. It requires a conflict-sensitive approach that aligns actions for immediate humanitarian assistance, long-term development and sustaining peace.
  • This report sends a clear warning signal that the ambition of a world without hunger and malnutrition by 2030 will be challenging – achieving it will require renewed efforts through new ways of working.