Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition 2021: Statistics and Trends
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Food is central to people's development throughout their lives. Hunger and poverty impede the enjoyment of this fundamental right. In recent years, various factors have diverted the world off the path to eradicating hunger, food insecurity and all forms of malnutrition by 2030 and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this trend. Our region is no exception. This edition of the Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition 2021: Statistics and Trends reveals a bleak scenario for the future. In 2020, 59.7 million people in our region suffered from hunger, and between 2019 and 2020 the prevalence of hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean increased by 2 percentage points. The increases in moderate or severe food insecurity from 2019 to 2020 were even steeper than the increase in hunger at 9 percentage points. Forty-one percent of the regional population is moderately or severely food insecure: that is 267 million people whose human right to food is not being met. In the Region, one in four adults suffer from obesity. Childhood overweight has been increasing over the last 20 years and is above the world average: it affected 7.5 percent of children under five in 2020. Overweight and obesity have a significant economic, social and health impact on countries because of reduced productivity and increased disability, premature mortality, and medical care and treatment costs. If we do not make rapid and thorough changes, the countries of the region will fail to meet Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2: “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture” and SDG 3: “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.” These trends will not be reversed if we do not transform our agri-food systems to make them efficient, resilient, inclusive and sustainable enough to provide a healthy diet for everyone, leaving no one behind. That was the aim of the Food Systems Summit, convened by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, which brought together 23 Member States from Latin America and the Caribbean to discuss how they could bring about a transformation that would benefit the most vulnerable communities. The five United Nations agencies behind this publication want to contribute to this transformation by measuring and monitoring food and nutrition security indicators to promote the formulation and implementation of evidence-based policies. This publication contributes to the policy dialogue for post-pandemic recovery, which is fundamental to closing gaps in equality and to meeting the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
FAO, IFAD, PAHO, WFP and UNICEF. 2021. Latin America and the Caribbean – Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition 2021: Statistics and trends. Santiago, FAO. https://doi.org/10.4060/cb7497en
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