SDG Goal 2: Zero Hunger Progress

Hunger is on the rise again globally and undernutrition continues to affect millions of children. Public investment in agriculture globally is declining, smallscale food producers and family farmers require much greater support and increased investment in infrastructure and technology for sustainable agriculture is urgently needed.

  • An estimated 821 million people – approximately 1 in 9 people in the world – were undernourished in 2017, up from 784 million in 2015. This represents a worrying rise in world hunger for a third consecutive year after a prolonged decline. Africa remains the continent with the highest prevalence of undernourishment, affecting one fifth of its population (more than 256 million people). Consistent with the continued growth in undernourishment, 770 million people faced severe food insecurity in 2017.
  • Stunting has been decreasing in nearly every region since 2000. Still, more than 1 in 5 children under 5 years of age (149 million) were stunted in 2018. Globally, 49 million children under 5 were affected by wasting and another 40 million were overweight in 2018.
  • Strengthening the resilience and adaptive capacity of small-scale and family farmers, whose productivity is systematically lower than all other food producers, is critical to reversing the trend of the rise in hunger. The share of small-scale food producers in terms of all food producers in countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America ranges from 40 to 85 per cent, compared with fewer than 10 per cent in Europe.
  • Government spending on agriculture compared to agriculture’s contribution to the total economy has declined by 37 per cent; the ratio fell from 0.42 in 2001 to 0.26 worldwide in 2017. In addition, aid to agriculture in developing countries fell from nearly 25 per cent of all donors’ sector-allocable aid in the mid-1980s to only 5 per cent in 2017, representing a decrease of $12.6 billion.
  • A continuous downward trend has been observed in export subsidy outlays reported to the World Trade Organization (WTO). The total outlays fell from close to $500 million in 2010 to around $120 million in 2016. This reduction in export subsidies by Governments is leading to lower distortions in agricultural markets.

Source: Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform