New study looks at cost of ending world hunger by 2030

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, July 10, 2015 - A new report says that eradicating world hunger in 15 years will require an additional $160 annually for each person living in extreme poverty.

The report - prepared by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), and the World Food Programme (WFP) - says progress has been made in recent decades, but nearly 800 million people around the world still don't have enough food to eat. For an additional $267 billion per year, the report said chronic undernourishment could be a thing of the past by 2030.

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While that may seem like a hefty price, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said it is a very attainable figure when approached globally. 

"Our report estimates that this will require a total investment of some US$267 billion per year over the next 15 years. Given that this is more or less equivalent to 0.3 percent of the global GDP, I personally think it is a relatively small price to pay to end hunger," Graziano da Silva said. “The message of the report is clear: if we adopt a "business as usual" approach, by 2030, we would still have more than 650 million people suffering from hunger.”

The report noted that the international community needs to build on the successful experiences of some countries that have effectively used a combination of investment and social protection to combat hunger and poverty in rural and urban areas.

"We need a dramatic shift in thinking to help the world's poorest break the cycle of hunger and poverty by 2030. We cannot allow them to be left behind," said WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin. "We must invest in the most vulnerable and ensure that they have the tools they need not only to overcome hunger, but to enhance their resources and capabilities."

The report points out that the current approach will still have 650 million people experiencing hunger by 2030. It contrasts this with a combined social protection and investment scenario where public funded transfers will be used to lift people out of chronic hunger by ensuring that they reach an income of $1.25 per day, which corresponds to the World Bank-determined poverty line level.

This social protection measure would cost an additional $116 billion per year - $75 billion for rural areas and $41 billion for urban areas. Some $151 billion in additional pro-poor investments - $105 billion for rural development and agriculture and $46 billion for urban areas - would also be required to stimulate income generation to the advantage of those living in poverty. The combination of social protection and investments brings the total to $267 billion.

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