The number of undernourished people has dropped by almost half in the past two decades due to rapid economic growth and increased agricultural productivity. As a result, many developing countries that once suffered from famine and hunger can now meet their population’s nutritional needs. Significant progress has been made in the eradication of extreme hunger, particularly across parts of Central and East Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Unfortunately, extreme hunger and malnutrition remain a huge barrier to development in many countries. As of 2017, an estimated 821 million people were considered chronically undernourished, often as a result of environmental degradation, drought and biodiversity loss. Over 90 million children under the age of five are dangerously underweight. Issues of food insecurity and severe undernourishment appear to be increasing in almost all regions of Africa, as well as parts of South America.
The SDGs aim to end all forms of hunger and malnutrition by 2030, by ensuring all people – especially children – have sufficient and nutritious food all year-round. This involves promoting sustainable agriculture, equal access to land, supporting small-scale farmers, and both technology and market accessibility. Solutions in areas of agricultural productivity also require international cooperation to ensure investments in infrastructure and technology are equitable and evenly distributed.