Transforming food systems

Estimates in 2020 showed that the number of hungry has been on the rise again, and is currently estimated at 690 million people.1 Obesity is also rising in all regions, reflecting a food system that produces unbalanced results. The forces yielding such simultaneous increase in hunger and obesity are directly related to the food system itself or broader developmental drivers/issues, including poverty, political instability and economic crisis, along with limited societal awareness regarding healthy diets. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed the world’s fragilities and reemphasized the food system’s weaknesses. The pandemic has intensified inequities in accessing safe and nutritious food at affordable prices, and further highlighted the vulnerability of workers across the food system value chain. The complexity of the food system arises from the fact that it encompasses a wide range of actors and stakeholders and it integrates socio-cultural, economic, political, biophysical, environmental, infrastructure and technical drivers that interact at different levels along the entire food supply chain to deliver outcomes for human beings and the planet.

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