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The FAO Regional Office for Africa has released the '2016 Africa Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition'.

The publication assesses the state of food insecurity and malnutrition in Africa, reviews policies and programmes, and discusses the challenges of building resilience to shocks and stresses from climate change and conflict.

Among other findings, the report shows that extreme poverty continues to be one of the main reasons why more than one quarter of the population of sub-Saharan Africa still suffers severe food insecurity.

24 February 2017: The African Regional Office of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has released an overview of the state of food insecurity and malnutrition in Africa. The report finds that: more than one quarter of the region’s population is suffering from hunger; more efforts are needed with regard to policies and programmes in order to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 2.1 to end hunger by 2030; and efforts to improve agricultural production must be accompanied by action to increase resilience.

Titled ‘2016 Africa Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition: The Challenges of Building Resilience to Shocks and Stresses,’ the publication is organized in three sections: an assessment of the state of food insecurity and malnutrition in sub-Saharan Africa, an overview of the policies and programmes in place to support food security and nutrition, and an analysis of the need to build resilience in the context of climate change impacts.

Using a new tool called the Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES), the assessment finds that 26% of the population of sub-Saharan Africa suffered from severe food insecurity in 2014-2015. While the region as a whole now produces 110% of dietary energy supply (DES) required, many countries continue to rely heavily on food imports and are vulnerable to disruptions from unstable markets, rising commodity prices and natural disasters. The analysis further shows that even though poverty levels declined, sub-Saharan Africa remains the poorest region of the world. Therefore, the report states, that a broad-based economic transformation is necessary to reduce poverty and improve food accessibility.

The report states that a broad-based economic transformation is necessary to reduce poverty and improve food accessibility.

The section on policies and programmes finds that in many countries more efforts are necessary to translate commitments to effective programmes on the ground, noting also the importance of creating enabling environments for participation and investment, in particular innovative resource mobilization strategies.

The section on resilience describes the need for immediate short-, medium- and long-term measures to address the impacts of extreme weather caused by the 2014-2015 El Niño and La Niña seasons, while increasing longer-term resilience through the promotion and financing of climate-smart agriculture practices. This section also highlights that peace building is essential to resilience in areas affected by armed conflict and protracted crises. [FAO Press Release] [Key Messages] [2016 Africa Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition: The Challenges of Building Resilience to Shocks and Stresses]

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