Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition in Latin America and the Caribbean 2020 – Food security and nutrition for lagged territories – In brief
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During 2019, 7.4 percent of the population in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) lived in hunger, which is equivalent to 47.7 million people. The situation has been deteriorating over the past 5 years, with an increase of 13.2 million undernourished people. If this trend continues, the possibility of meeting the Zero Hunger target of Goal 2 (SDG2) of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) will be even further away. It is estimated that, in 2030, hunger will affect 67 million people in the region, a figure that does not take into account repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. The population affected by food insecurity in Latin America has continued to increase over the past 5 years. In 2019, almost a third of the population, or 191 million people, were affected by moderate or severe food insecurity. In the region, child stunting is decreasing and overweight in children under 5 is increasing. Recent information on malnutrition in the region’s countries shows that nearly one in every 5 territories is lagging in relation to either stunting or overweight in children under 5. The highest lags in relation to stunting are found in rural areas. These territories have high levels of poverty, low income, low schooling rate, a higher presence of informal employment, less access to services and a higher proportion of indigenous and Afro-descendant population. Overweight in children under 5 seems to be geographically distributed in a more homogeneous way. However, highly lagging territories tend to be concentrated in urban areas, with higher incomes, lower poverty, greater access to services and more formal labor. Although the real dimension of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic is still unknown, it threatens to widen these differences and the gaps between lagging and non-lagging territories. The pandemic hits the most vulnerable populations and territories particularly hard, where there are a greater number of informal jobs, incomes are lower and healthy food is scarce. Addressing the problem of food security and nutrition in lagging territories requires multidimensional interventions that address the various causes of malnutrition in an integrated manner, and that offer a coordinated response across various dimensions of development. This Regional Overview describes some of the main policy interventions that are being carried out in the region within three groups of measures focused on: 1) improving and promoting economic access to adequate food, 2) improving physical access to food and the production of food that promotes adequate nutrition, and 3) improving food use and quality.
FAO, PAHO, WFP, UNICEF and IFAD. 2021. Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition in Latin America and the Caribbean 2020 – Food security and nutrition for lagged territories – In brief. Santiago.
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