Global Food Security and Nutrition


It is estimated that currently around 815 million people are suffering from hunger and chronic malnutrition. This number marks an increase after the number of starving people steadily declined until 2015.

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

Especially in parts of sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia and Western Asia, the food situation has worsened.

The main reasons for this are armed conflicts and natural disasters such as droughts and floods.

The number of people suffering from malnourishment in all its forms worldwide has also increased. In 2016, around 41 million children under the age of five years were overweight.

The fight against hunger has the highest priority for the Federal Government of Germany.

Investments in agriculture in developing countries shall lead to

  • sustainably increasing yields and higher productivity as well as to
  • increased purchasing power of the local population.

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 March 2018

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