Back to search

2014–2015 Global Food Policy Report

The 2014–2015 Global Food Policy Report, IFPRI’s flagship publication, puts into perspective the major food policy issues, developments, and decisions in 2014 and highlights challenges and opportunities for 2015. The report calls for a renewed focus on middle-income countries, which are home to the majority of the world’s hungry and malnourished. It also covers other issues that are integral to achieving food and nutrition security, including sanitation, family farming, social protection, food safety, conflicts, and aquaculture. It tries to find the answers to many questions, among which:

  • How can middle income countries, which despite becoming more affluent are still home to the majority of the world’s hungry people, address their food and nutrition security challenges?
  • What is the role of improved sanitation in shaping key nutrition outcomes, especially for children?
  • How can we support smallholder farmers in “moving up” in agriculture or “moving out” of the sector altogether?
  • What social protection measures help shield vulnerable people effectively and efficiently against an increasing number of shocks?
  • How should we address food and nutrition security of people living in conflict zones? and more...


The 2014–2015 Global Food Policy Report also presents data for several key food policy indicators, including country-level data on hunger, agricultural research spending, and capacity for food policy research.

In addition to illustrative figures, tables, and a timeline of food policy events during the past year, the report also presents the results of a global opinion poll on the current state of food policy.

Quick library "land scan " of chapter 7/ Excerpt from the chapter ( 50-61pp.)

  • As food and nutrition insecurity become increasingly concentrated in conflict-affected countries, discussions on the post-2015 agenda need to focus on the questions of how realistic achieving those goals may be for conflict-affected countries and how approaches for achieving those goals may need to differ for those countries.
  • The root causes of conflict vary greatly with each case and are often the consequence of a combination of political, institutional, economic, and social stresses.
  • But conflicts are also often related to shocks, including natural disasters, epidemics, and food price crises. While such shocks may sometimes aggravate or even trigger civil conflict, others— such as food price hikes—are often a result of civil conflict and can themselves spark conflicts. Examples of drought-fuelled civil wars include Somalia as well as Sudan and South Sudan, and the ongoing Syrian civil war, which broke out in the wake of a major drought.
  • There is ample evidence suggesting that natural disasters—particularly droughts—contribute to aggravating existing civil conflicts in several ways. Such disasters can intensify social grievances by increasing the scarcity of available resources or by deepening inequalities among groups.
  •  In Mali, for example, arid and semi-arid conditions and changing desert boundaries have often led to deadly clashes between agricultural farmers and pastoralists.
  • In addition, policies favoring agricultural expansion to the detriment of pastoralists, restrictions on the access to natural resources, the use of repressive force by the government, and the perception that the government misappropriated international humanitarian aid for drought have all been factors that have unmistakably deepened the grievances of pastoralists.
  •  A conflict in Mawai in 2012 also coincided with a regionwide drought that affected 3.5 million people. The combination of both the drought and the political turmoil eventually led to the displacement of nearly 300,000 people, including more than 160,000 who fled to neighboring Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mauritania.
  •  In total, 2–3 million people were affected by the drought, 800,000 of whom became vulnerable to extreme poverty, losing almost everything. Inadequate responses by the Syrian government to the crisis further antagonized the population.
  • Although the example of violent riots during the 2007–2008 global food price crisis shows that (external) food price shocks can fuel civil conflict, the effects of the recent escalation of violence in the northeast of Nigeria is an example of the flip side: civil conflict aggravating food and nutrition insecurity.
  • Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced as result of clashes between Boko Haram fighters and Nigerian government forces, leaving many in the states of Borno and Yobe precariously short of food.
  • The conflict activities and the resulting mass displacement of people have led to reduced food supply from food-producing areas and increased food demand