As an important anti-hunger conference takes place in the United States, it seems timely to revisit the UN FAO’s State of Food Insecurity in the World Report (2014). There’s also a link to a hunger map. The hunger page on the UN FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) website is loaded with resources (links, slideshows, reports, etc.) for those who wish to dig deeper into this vital topic.

The UN FAO defines food security as this:


“Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.”

Key messages from the report include:


  1. While the prevalence of undernourishment has fallen in developing nations, more than 800 million people are estimated to go hungry each day.

  2. Despite overall progress, marked differences across regions persist. Sub-Saharan Africa and Western Asia have made modest progress, but this has been hindered by the natural disasters and conflict which have affected these regions.

  3. Sustained political commitment at the highest level, with food security and nutrition as top priorities, is a prerequisite for hunger eradication.

  4. Hunger reduction requires an integrated approach and needs to include: public and private investments to raise agricultural productivity; better access to inputs, land, services, technologies and markets for producers; measures to promote rural development; and social protection for the most vulnerable.

  5. Nutrition programs which address micro-nutrient deficiencies in mothers and children under five are particularly important.