FAO / 2020 FOOD SECURITY REPORT

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13-Jul-2020 00:04:15
An annual study by the United Nations has found that tens of millions have joined the ranks of the chronically undernourished over the past five years, and countries around the world continue to struggle with multiple forms of malnutrition. FAO

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STORY: FAO / 2020 FOOD SECURITY REPORT
TRT: 4:16
SOURCE: FAO
RESTRICTIONS: PLEASE CREDIT FAO ON SCREEN
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: JULY 2020, ROME, ITALY /FILE

SHOTLIST:

FILE – 2019, BANGLADESH

1. Med shot, child at home door looking on camera

FILE – 2017, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

2. Med shot, group of children sitting on floor

FILE – 2017, COTE D'IVOIRE

3. Med shot, three children looking on camera

FILE – 2017, SOMALIA

4. Med shot, mother feeding her children

FILE - 2014, COOK ISLAND

5. Various shots, overweight persons in a street market

JULY 2020, ROME, ITALY

6. SOUNDBITE (English) Maximo Torero, Chief Economist, FAO:
"In 2019 we have close to 700 million people, near 1 in 10 people in the world, were exposed to severe levels of food insecurity. What this means? That we are not progressing in the reduction of undernourishment in the world. On the contrary, still we are having small increases and not a decline that we had 5 years ago."

FILE – MAY 2020, PAKISTAN

7. Wide shot, and washing demonstration at Farmer Field School

FILE – MAY 2020, SOUTH SUDAN

9. Wide shot, woman sanitizing her hands
10. Med shot, man washes his hands

FILE – APRIL 2020, SYRIA

11. Wide shot, farmers building a mini greenhouse in a FAO-supported project

JULY 2020, ROME, ITALY

12. SOUNDBITE (English) Maximo Torero, Chief Economist, FAO:
"A preliminary assessment is that the COVID-19 pandemic may add between 83 and 132 million people to a toll of undernourished in the world in 2020. Depending of course on the decrease of growth of GDP and scenarios that we use. What this means? That the situation and any progress that was made, for example in poverty reduction in the last 10 years, have been reduced. And moreover, in the case of undernourishment, which has been increasing in the last years, the situation will get worse in a significant amount of more hungry people. Which means that it will be even more difficult to achieve SDG 2 ( Sustainable Development Goal 2) ."

FILE – JANUARY 2020, KENYA

13. Various shots, Desert Locust storms
14. Wide shot, family sitting down in front of their house with Desert Locust around
15. Tilt down, of Desert Locusts on a wall with people on the background
16. Med shot, Desert Locusts on the walls of a house
17. Med shot, FAO expert holding a box with Desert Locusts inside
18. Pan left, FAO airplane spraying biopesticide

FILE – 2019, ARMENIA

19. Various shots, children eating in school supported by FAO project
20. Med shot, family having dinner
21. Med shot, fruits and vegetables in a market
22. Med shot, woman preparing a fruit salad

FILE – MAY 2019, GUATEMALA

23. Close up, child’s face
24. Close up, children hands picking food form a dish
25. Med shot, group of children eating in a school canteen

JULY 2020, ROME, ITALY

26. SOUNDBITE (English) Maximo Torero, Chief Economist, FAO:
"To increase the affordability of healthy diets the cost of nutritious foods must come down. That is central to achieve what this report brings up: we need to make healthy diets more affordable. We need to analyze what are the cost drivers of these diets and we need to look them within the food supply chain, within the different environments, and in the political economy that shapes trade, public expenditure and investment policies. Tackling these cost drivers will require large transformations in the food systems with no one-size-fits-all solution and different trade-offs and synergies for countries. Countries will need a rebalancing of agricultural policies and incentives towards more nutrition-sensitive investment and policy actions all along the food supply chain to reduce food losses, for example, and enhance efficiencies at all stages. We know today, and especially with COVID-19, that the size of food losses will increase, and it is a huge opportunity to reduce them to increase the supply of healthy diets in the world."

FILE – JULY 2015, HONDURAS

27. Close up, melons on a field
28. Tilt up, from melons to farmers at work
29. Wide shot, melons in field
30. Various shots, melon processing plant
31. Various shots, containers being loaded onto a ship

FILE – APRIL 2018, TURKEY

32. Med shot, women picking olives
33. Med shot, omen working in an orange processing plant
34. Med shot, women working in a dried tomato processing plant
35. Med shot, woman at work in a food processing plant

FILE - 2016, ITALY

36. Various shots, food loss and waste

FILE – 2017, SOUTH SUDAN

37. Various shots, children eating

STORYLINE:

An annual study by the United Nations has found that tens of millions have joined the ranks of the chronically undernourished over the past five years, and countries around the world continue to struggle with multiple forms of malnutrition.

The latest edition of the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, published on Monday (13 Jul), estimates that almost 690 million people went hungry in 2019 – up by 10 million from 2018, and by nearly 60 million in five years. High costs and low affordability also mean billions cannot eat healthily or nutritiously. The hungry are most numerous in Asia but expanding fastest in Africa. Across the planet, the report forecasts, the COVID-19 pandemic could tip over 130 million more people into chronic hunger by the end of 2020. (Flare-ups of acute hunger in the pandemic context may see this number escalate further at times.)

The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World is the most authoritative global study tracking progress towards ending hunger and malnutrition. It is produced jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agriculture (IFAD), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Writing in the Foreword, the heads of the five agencies warn that 'five years after the world committed to end hunger, food insecurity and all forms of malnutrition, we are still off track to achieve this objective by 2030.'

In this edition, critical data updates for China and other populous countries have led to a substantial cut in estimates of the global number of hungry people, to the current 690 million. Nevertheless, there has been no change in the trend. Revising the entire hunger series back to the year 2000 yields the same conclusion: after steadily diminishing for decades, chronic hunger slowly began to rise in 2014 and continues to do so.

Asia remains home to the greatest number of undernourished (381 million). Africa is second (250 million), followed by Latin America and the Caribbean (48 million). The global prevalence of undernourishment – or overall percentage of hungry people – has changed little at 8.9 percent, but the absolute numbers have been rising since 2014. This means that over the last five years, hunger has grown in step with the global population.

This, in turn, hides great regional disparities: in percentage terms, Africa is the hardest hit region and becoming more so, with 19.1 percent of its people undernourished. This is more than double the rate in Asia (8.3 percent) and in Latin America and the Caribbean (7.4 percent). On current trends, by 2030, Africa will be home to more than half of the world’s chronically hungry.

As progress in fighting hunger stalls, the COVID-19 pandemic is intensifying the vulnerabilities and inadequacies of global food systems – understood as all the activities and processes affecting the production, distribution and consumption of food. While it is too soon to assess the full impact of the lockdowns and other containment measures, the report estimates that at a minimum, another 83 million people, and possibly as many as 132 million, may go hungry in 2020 as a result of the economic recession triggered by COVID-19.iii The setback throws into further doubt the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 2 (Zero Hunger).

Overcoming hunger and malnutrition in all its forms (including undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, overweight and obesity) is about more than securing enough food to survive: what people eat – and especially what children eat – must also be nutritious. Yet a key obstacle is the high cost of nutritious foods and the low affordability of healthy diets for vast numbers of families.

The report presents evidence that a healthy diet costs far more than US$ 1.90/day, the international poverty threshold. It puts the price of even the least expensive healthy diet at five times the price of filling stomachs with starch only. Nutrient-rich dairy, fruits, vegetables and protein-rich foods (plant and animal-sourced) are the most expensive food groups globally.

The latest estimates are that a staggering 3 billion people or more cannot afford a healthy diet. In sub-Saharan Africa and southern Asia, this is the case for 57 percent of the population – though no region, including North America and Europe, is spared. Partly as a result, the race to end malnutrition appears compromised. According to the report, in 2019, between a quarter and a third of children under five (191 million) were stunted or wasted – too short or too thin. Another 38 million under-fives were overweight. Among adults, meanwhile, obesity has become a global pandemic in its own right.

The report argues that once sustainability considerations are factored in, a global switch to healthy diets would help check the backslide into hunger while delivering enormous savings. It calculates that such a shift would allow the health costs associated with unhealthy diets, estimated to reach US$ 1.3 trillion a year in 2030, to be almost entirely offset; while the diet-related social cost of greenhouse gas emissions, estimated at USD 1.7 trillion, could be cut by up to three-quarters.

The report urges a transformation of food systems to reduce the cost of nutritious foods and increase the affordability of healthy diets. While the specific solutions will differ from country to country, and even within them, the overall answers lie with interventions along the entire food supply chain, in the food environment, and in the political economy that shapes trade, public expenditure and investment policies. The study calls on governments to mainstream nutrition in their approaches to agriculture; work to cut cost-escalating factors in the production, storage, transport, distribution and marketing of food – including by reducing inefficiencies and food loss and waste; support local small-scale producers to grow and sell more nutritious foods, and secure their access to markets; prioritize children’s nutrition as the category in greatest need; foster behaviour change through education and communication; and embed nutrition in national social protection systems and investment strategies.

The heads of the five UN agencies behind the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World declare their commitment to support this momentous shift, ensuring that it unfolds 'in a sustainable way, for people and the planet.'
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