Progress Towards Ending Hunger And Malnutrition: A Cross-Country Cluster Analysis
The fight against hunger is not over yet. A fight against overweight and obesity must begin. Here you can find how patterns of malnutrition are evolving across the globe.
This webpage provides an abridged and interactive version of the study “Progress towards ending hunger and malnutrition: A cross-country cluster analysis “ published by FAO and IFPRI and undertaken in partnership with the Food and Nutrition Security Impact, Resilience, Sustainability and Transformation (FIRST) program. The FIRST program is a strategic partnership between FAO and the European Union (EU), whereby the EU is making an investment of nearly €8 billion in over 60 countries during the 2014–2020 period to improve food security and nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. Additional funding support from the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM) led by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
This report provides a quantitative assessment of progress made towards the sustainable development goal of ending hunger and all forms of malnutrition since 1990. Using a cluster analysis, it categorizes country performance along three dimensions: (1) food security and nutrition outcomes; (2) structural drivers of food security and nutrition; and (3) past and present policy interventions in support of food security and nutrition.
Key findings show that much progress has been made towards the goal of ending hunger. Yet, many countries continue to face moderate to high degrees of undernourishment, especially where economies made least progress in transiting towards high-productivity, modern agriculture and non-farm economic development and where policy stances have been weak in promoting agricultural development, reducing gender inequalities, and improving infrastructure and basic social services.
The decline in undernourishment has come with a rise in the prevalence in overweight and obesity. The spread of this form of malnutrition has come with dietary shifts towards the consumption of more animal-sourced and processed foods that have come with urbanization and income growth. By 2015, the vast majority of countries faced moderate to high prevalence of adult overweight, and this form of malnutrition is also on the rise in countries with still significant rates of child undernourishment. No country in the world is showing declines in the rate of adult overweight.
Food security and nutrition have greatly improved over the past 25 years, as reflected in sharp reductions in hunger and undernutrition in most parts of the world.
Far From Achieving The SDG
Yet, the world is still far from achieving the SDG of ending hunger and all forms of malnutrition. Moderate to high rates of hunger and/or child undernourishment still affect 53 countries.
Moderate To High Overweight
At the same time, moderate to high overweight among adults has become the most important nutrition concern in more than half of all countries in the world
Zero Hunger And Child Nutrition
Only two countries, the Republic of Korea and Japan, have achieved zero hunger and child nutrition while also keeping adult overweight and obesity to a minimum.
High-Productivity Agriculture And Advanced Industrial And Services
Countries that made the most progress in shifting to high-productivity agriculture and advanced industrial and services sectors also show the greatest reductions in hunger and child undernourishment.
Undernourishment Is Low
Undernourishment is low where governments supported agricultural growth through market support and investments in R&D, ensured (near) universal coverage of electricity, drinking water and sanitation, improved access to education for all and reduced gender gaps. It is high in countries which did not manage to undertake or sustain such policy efforts.
Future Food Policy Designs
Many of the policy efforts to address problems of undernourishment and child wasting and stunting also seem to induce (probably indirectly) higher rates of overweight. Future food policy designs should be aware of this trade-off.
The Progress towards Ending Malnutrition (PEM) Dashboard was created by David Laborde, Abdullah Mamun, and Rob Vos of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
It provides the database for the study: “Progress towards ending hunger and malnutrition: A cross-country cluster analysis” written by David Laborde, Abdullah Mamun, and Rob Vos of IFPRI, with contributions by Marco Knowles, Karel Callens and Panagiotis Karfakis of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
This study was undertaken in partnership with the Food and Nutrition Security Impact, Resilience, Sustainability and Transformation (FIRST) program of the FAO and the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM) led by IFPRI. The FIRST program is a strategic partnership between FAO and the European Union (EU), whereby the EU is making an investment of nearly €8 billion in over 60 countries during the 2014–2020 period to improve food security and nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
Funding support for the development of the dashboard and the preparation of the study was provided by FAO (through the EU-funded FIRST program) and CGIAR’s PIM program. The creators of the dashboard are solely responsible for the data as presented in the dashboard. Any errors cannot be attributed to the EU, FAO, PIM, IFPRI, or CGIAR.
Map source: United Nations [United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs] map. 7 May 2020
Map disclaimer: The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on this map do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the International Food Policy Research Institute. (IFPRI).
Background & Reports
The dashboard and preparation of the study was funded by the FIRST programme, a partnership of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the European Union, and additional funding support from the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM) led by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). The FIRST programme provides policy assistance to governments of over 23 countries to create an enabling environment for food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture. The contents of this page and the study are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the EU, FAO, CGIAR or IFPRI.