The 1996 World Food Summit target

Of halving the world's undernourished by 2015 is ambitious. Here's why:

Published: Monday 30 June 2003

-- Undernourished population of sub-Saharan Africa will go up by 2015 in stark contrast with other developing countries

168 million people were undernourished in sub-Saharan Africa in 1990/92 (three-year average), and will increase to 205 million by 2015

Developing countries as a whole had 815 million undernourished people in 1990/92. This is expected to reduce to 610 million by 2015. The summit's target was 410 million by 2015

Factors affecting undernourishment: population growth, poverty and food security

While the rate of global population growth declines from 1.5 per cent in 1989-99 to 0.9 per cent in 2015-30, sub-Saharan Africa would show a modest decline from 2.7 per cent to 2.2 per cent for the same periods. This is higher than the average for all developing countries: 1.7 per cent to 1.1 per cent

World's poor living on less than US $1 per day will decline from 1,134 million in 1999 to 749 million by 2015. But sub-Saharan Africa's impoverished will increase from 300 million to 345 million

The key variable to track developments in food security is the per capita food consumption on which sub-Saharan Africa will show little progress

Nutritious numbers
Per capita food consumption (kilocalories/person/day)

  1984/86 1997/99 2015 2030
World 2,655 2,803 2,940 3,050
Developing Countries 2,450 2,681 2,850 2,980
South Asia  2,205 2,403 2,700 2,900
 East Asia 2,559 2,921 3,060 3,190
Sub-Saharan Africa 2,057 2,195 2,360 2,540
Food security is also dependent on the level of inequality in access to food. If there is high inequality, as seem plausible in the region given the levels of poverty, the proportion of undernourished population is bound to be high at a given level of per capita food consumption

Source: Jelle Bruinsma 2003, World agriculture: towards 2015/2030, an FAO perspective, Earthscan Publications Limited, London.

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