Securing healthy diets for the billions who cannot afford them would save trillions in costs

July 13, 2020 - 4:00 PM (CET)

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The report contains the most recent and authoritative estimates of the extent of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition around the world. As the 2030 deadline looms, SOFI 2020 gauges whether #ZeroHunger remains achievable. The Report tracks countries' performance and trajectory to offer a tiered assessment of the likelihood of success. 

What's new?

  • Higher level of accuracy thanks to the availability of fresh datasets, including new population figures, new food balance sheets and new data for China;

  • Preliminary assessment of COVID-19’s impact on food security, based on the latest global economic outlooks;

  • In-depth analysis of the ability of food systems to deliver quality diets to the poorest and the most vulnerable;

  • Policy recommendations to transform current food systems 

The event is organized by the report’s authors, FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP and WHO and can be followed in all official UN languages.

The FAO Council today approved a series of measures proposed by the Director-General QU Dongyu to modernize the UN agency and make it more efficient and effective. Composed of 49 member countries and executive organ of the FAO Conference, the Council met virtually for the first time in FAO’s history due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
EcorNaturaSí and the Mountain Partnership Secretariat, hosted by FAO, today joined forces to better the lives of people living in rural areas and fragile ecosystems, such as mountains, forests and islands, and develop more inclusive food and agriculture systems.

UNSCN Nutrition 45 – Nutrition in a Digital World 

This year, the 45th edition of UNSCN Nutrition, examines the complexity of the digital world for improved nutrition. Digital technology, in and of itself, cannot fix the world’s food and nutrition problems, nor mend its dysfunctional food systems. However, once improving nutrition is deemed a priority, digital technologies are important tools. The potential of digital technologies to improve nutrition is considerable, but so are the risks that these technologies might entail.

Most of the articles we present in UNSCN Nutrition 45 consider the potential-risk duality in a range of food-system perspectives– from food production, transformation and distribution to digital food marketing and retail; from behavioural change and capacity-building, including through social media, to the generation, processing and use of data; and from the protection of vulnerable groups to issues of inequality and human rights.

We chose the theme of UNSCN Nutrition 45 – Nutrition in a Digital World long before we had even heard of COVID-19. Digitalization has been playing a key role ever since, enabling vital parts of the world economy to continue functioning, allowing us to remain connected and giving us access to numerous public services, including those directly related to the pandemic. Another wake-up call on the need to enhance our knowledge and further the debate on the potential benefits and adverse impacts of innovative digital technologies in helping to achieve sustainable healthy diets and progressively realize the right to adequate food.

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The Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, QU Dongyu, today welcomed a €15 million contribution from the European Union to fight the Desert Locust upsurge in East Africa as a new wave of locusts is emerging in the region.
The Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), QU Dongyu, today presented to the FAO Council a second set of measures to reform the UN agency. These follow those approved by the Council in December 2019, aimed at making FAO more agile, efficient and accountable. Qu also outlined the current and future challenges facing food security and agriculture at large, and his vision to respond to them.
FAO and Rabobank will work with key food and agriculture sectors on a series of projects designed to help lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, improve land and water use, and empower smallholder farmers to address the challenges of climate change and reduction of food losses.Special attention will be paid in ensuring the inclusion of poor, vulnerable and marginalized groups, including women and youth.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has been accredited as an implementing partner of the Adaptation Fund and will work with the international fund on projects to help vulnerable countries fight the harmful effects of climate change.

The Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) plans to undertake the 2020 Rural Livelihoods Assessment with the aim of assessing and monitoring food and nutrition security in the face of the COVID-19 Pandemic. While the full impact of the Corona virus on food and nutrition security is not well known, it is clear that it will have significant negative effects on food and nutrition security. Lessons from previous pandemics or global crises indicate that food and nutrition security could be rapidly and dramatically affected in both rural and urban areas. In light of this, there is need to act quickly and anticipate the collateral effects of the COVID-19 pandemic by gathering up to date data for evidence based polices and programming.


In addition, the assessment also serves to monitor and report towards commitments made within the guiding frameworks of existing national food and nutrition policies and strategies among them the Transitional Stabilisation Plan, the Food and Nutrition Security Policy and the Zero Hunger strategy. In 2020, two important documents will be developed, namely the National Development strategy for the next five years and the Food and Nutrition Security Strategy for the next five years. These need grounded evidence to come up with strong strategies to move the food and nutrition security issues in the development agenda.

Data collection will be undertaken through sub-national (provincial and district) Food and Nutrition Security Committees (FNSCs). Face-to-face interviews will be undertaken at household level with proper and adequate personal protection equipment (PPE) and adherence to social distancing and other hygienic measures as prescribed by standard operating procedures guiding field work. All survey teams will undergo training on how to carry out this assessment during such times and minimizing risks for both the survey teams and the households. Data will be collected from at least 250 households from selected enumeration areas in each of the 60 rural districts in the country. Due diligence will be taken to ensure that enumeration areas where active cluster contamination of COVID-19 has been recorded by the Ministry of Health and Child surveillance team will not be surveyed.

Preparations for the survey are already underway. The survey design, methodology and data collection tools have been developed and standardised through wide multi-stakeholder consultation. Supervisor training has already been done and will be followed up by enumerator training and data collection in July.  The process will culminate with report writing and the development of a Response Strategy. The final report is expected to be presented to Cabinet and disseminated to all levels of programming and decision making by the end of July.

Beyond the RLA, The ZimVAC committee will continue monitoring the food and nutrition security situation.