Global Food Security and Nutrition


New evidence in SOFI 2018 confirms a continuous increase in world hunger over the last three years: 821 million people are suffering from hunger in 2018. That is one in nine.

Understanding Global Food Security and Nutrition
Understanding Global Food Security and Nutrition © BMEL

Multiple forms of malnutrition are evident in many countries: adult obesity is growing even as forms of undernutrition persist.

The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI)

The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) is an annual flagship report jointly prepared by FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP and WHO to inform on progress towards ending hunger, achieving food security and improving nutrition and to provide in-depth analysis on key challenges for achieving this goal in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The report targets a wide audience, including policy-makers, international organizations, academic institutions and the general public.

Important facts and figures

Number of hungry people worldwide 2017: 821 million or 1 in 9 people

  • in Asia: 515 million
  • in Africa: 256.5 million
  • in Latin America and the Caribbean: 39 million

Children under 5 years of age who are underdeveloped (too small for their age): 150.8 million (22.2%).

Children under 5 years of age who are emaciated (too easy for their size): 50.5 million (7.5%).

Proportion of women of reproductive age suffering from anaemia: 32.8%.

Proportion of infants under 6 months who are exclusively breastfed: 40.7%.

Obesity adults: 672 million (13% or 1 in 8 adults).

The human right to food

The international community has adopted international standards and guidelines within the United Nations that act as a point of reference government action  in the area of food security.

These include

  • the human right to food,
  • the human right to  water and sanitation, and
  • the voluntary guidelines on the right to Food.

The FAO Voluntary Guidelines on the Right to Food

The “Voluntary Guidelines to Support the Gradual Realization of the Right to Adequate Food in the Context of National Food Security”, adopted by the FAO in November 2004, provide governments with recommendations for action to realize the right to food.

The guidelines call for increased efforts by the member states of the United Nations to combat hunger.

Food security projects - the Bilateral Trust Fund with the FAO

Since 2002, the BMEL has been supporting projects of the International Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) through a Bilateral Trust Fund (BTF)  to overcome hunger and malnutrition.

The focus of the BTF is the promotion of food security and agriculture in rural areas.

With an annual budget of 10 million euros, the BTF has provided around 120 million euros for more than 100 projects since 2002.

Through this voluntary financial commitment, Germany makes an additional contribution to the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

As of September 2018

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