Just published yesterday, the 2013 Global Food Security Index developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and exclusively sponsored by DuPont, highlighted nutrition in its key findings: More than 3 million children under the age of 5 die from malnutrition each year. In Latin America, these issues are especially acute since only 53 percent of countries in the region have official policies regarding nutrition in place in primary schools.
“Access to safe, nutritious and affordable food is critical to health and overall development,” said DuPont Pioneer President Paul E. Schickler while speaking alongside NGO and government partners at a nutrition and agriculture roundtable event in Santiago, Chile. Thanks to decades of strong economic management and political stability, Chile leads Latin America in terms of food availability and affordability and ranks second only to Argentina for its food quality and safety.
“While it’s important to acknowledge progress, we need to scrutinize the findings further to identify country-specific areas of concern and collaborate with partners to implement tailored, local solutions here in Chile (where diet diversification and obesity remain issues) and hundreds of countries around the world to ensure that nutrition is addressed holistically.”
Rountable participants discussed an EIU white paper written specifically for the event, Nutrition in Chile: Global Challenges, Local Solutions, which takes a closer look at the issue of obesity in Chile.
Additional EIU Key Findings from the Index
While the average 2013 Global Food Index score remained flat (53.5 percent versus 53.6 percent in 2012), some trends emerged from the year-on-year comparisons that shed light on the stagnant figure:
- Developing Nations Make Progress as Industrialized Countries Face Setbacks: Sub-Saharan African nations including Ethiopia, Senegal and Botswana made significant progress this past year, rising an average of nine places in the Index, with improvements attributed to rising incomes, greater access to farmer financing along with heightened emphasis on quality food and nutrition. The growth in developing nations contrasts a fall in developed European economies, in particular Greece, as it regressed as fallout of financial collapse and lower gross domestic product.
- Broader Food Security Metrics: Rather than measure food security in black and white terms, the 2013 Index tracks 27 diverse factors that may explicitly or implicitly affect access to safe, nutritious and affordable food. New this year, the Index points to political conflicts in Mali, Yemen and Syria as significant contributors to food insecurity in the regions. With regard to urbanization, emerging markets appear best positioned to respond to the long-term trend and implications for food security: Sierra Leone was the top-ranked country in this new indicator, primarily as a result of its strong urban farming, which has been crucial in supporting the country’s nutritional needs.
To learn more about the findings visit the EIU Index website.