This post was originally written by Jessica Fanzo and Derek Byerlee for IFPRI.
One in a series of guest blog posts from leading voices in global development on achieving long-term sustainability and growth while ending hunger, poverty, and malnutrition.
A history of shifting global priorities in the fight against hunger
For the third year in a row, the recently-released FAO State of Food Insecurity and Nutrition report highlights global increases in undernourishment after decades of decline. Meanwhile, the report notes, no region is exempt from widespread micronutrient deficiencies and the rising trend in overweight and obesity. The same week in June, we published a piece in the journal Global Food Security looking back 75 years to the pioneering 1943 UN Conference on Food and Agriculture in Hot Springs, Va., where the first international commitment to ending hunger was made.
That conference set the goal of “freedom from want of food, suitable and adequate for the health and strength of all peoples” that should be achieved “in all lands within the shortest possible time.” Seventy five years after this clarion call, as well as the dozens of similar global declarations made in the interim, it is sobering that various complex forms of malnutrition persist in most countries.