Decades of development efforts undermined by pandemic – FAO report |

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“It is an alarming picture, in which progress on many SDG targets has been reversed, with a significant impact on all aspects of sustainable development and making achieving the 2030 Agenda even more difficult”, said Pietro Gennari, FAO Chief Statistician.

The analysis, Tracking Progress on SDG Indicators for Food and Agriculture, focuses on eight of the SDGs, which were adopted at a United Nations summit in New York in 2015.

Main conclusions

According to the report, the COVID-19 pandemic may have pushed 83 to 132 million more people into chronic hunger in 2020, making the goal of ending hunger even more distant.

About 14 percent of all food is lost along the supply chain, before it even reaches the consumer, what the FAO considers “an unacceptably high proportion”. Progress has also hesitated towards maintaining plant and animal genetic diversity for food and agriculture.

Agricultural systems bear the brunt of economic losses from disasters, small-scale food producers remain at a disadvantage, and food price volatility has also increased, due to pandemic constraints and lockdowns.

The report also focuses on gender, finding that women producers in developing countries earn less than men even when they are more productive; gender inequalities in land rights are pervasive; and discriminatory laws and customs remain obstacles to women’s land rights.

Finally, water stress remains alarming in many regions, threatening progress towards sustainable development.

Progress and solutions

FAO also reports several areas where progress is being made.

United Nations agency highlights measures against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, sustainable forest management, elimination of agricultural export subsidies, investment in agricultural productivity in developing countries. development and duty-free access for developing and least developed countries (LDCs).

The new report coincides with this week’s United Nations Food Systems Summit, which aims to raise awareness and spur action to transform food systems, end hunger, reduce food-related diseases and cure planet.

FAO calls for increased investment in agriculture, better access to new technologies, credit services and information resources for farmers and support for small-scale food producers.

The agency also supports the conservation of plant and animal genetic resources, measures to counter food price volatility and to prevent potentially dangerous events from turning into full-fledged disasters.

It also calls for more actions for efficient water use, better interventions to reduce food loss, better protection of ecosystems, progress on the legal and practical aspects of women’s land rights and the sustainability of land use. world fishing.

Finally, the report makes an urgent appeal for more and better data.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold and the world moves further and further away from the 2030 SDG deadline, timely, high-quality data is more essential than ever,” said Mr. Gennari.


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