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The FAO Food Price Index continued to rise in March for the tenth consecutive month. The Index increased 2.1 percent from February, bringing it to its highest value seen since June 2014. The rise was led by increased prices for vegetable oils, meat, and dairy. Cereal prices declined in March.
The number of undernourished people around the world rose from 653 million in 2015 to 690 million in 2019. According to a recent policy brief produced for the Food Systems Summit, more than 840 million people could suffer from by 2030, putting Sustainable Development Goal 2 – the eradication of hunger and malnutrition by 2030 – in serious jeopardy.
Food systems hold the key not only to food security, but also to plant, animal, and human health, as well as environmental sustainability. The United Nations (UN) will hold its first ever UN Food Systems Summit in Sept. 2021, since the transformation of food systems is now seen as one of the most impactful approaches to meeting all 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Over the last year, COVID-19 has undone the economic, health and food security of millions, pushing as many as 150 million people into extreme poverty. While the health and economic impacts of the pandemic have been devastating, the rise in hunger has been one of its most tangible symptoms.
While women contribute significantly to global agricultural production, they often lack access to credit and finance, training and extension services, resources, and land rights, putting them at higher risk of malnutrition, food insecurity, and poverty. Increasing women’s empowerment in agriculture is a critical step in ensuring gender equity and reducing hunger for all.