SDG 2 – Zero Hunger
Achieving food security – globally
The right to food is a basic human right. But hunger is still a reality in many countries, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa and in South Asia. According to figures from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), the number of people going hungry decreased by 216 million from 1990 to 2015 but increased again in the following years. FAO figures state that up to 811 million people are currently chronically undernourished, which means they eat fewer calories than they need to lead healthy and productive lives. In addition, there are around two billion people suffering from what is known as “hidden hunger”, i. e. micronutrient deficiencies when they eat too few vitamins and minerals. Particularly in children, deficiencies of essential nutrients often lead to developmental disabilities and delays in development. According to estimates, undernutrition is responsible for 45% of all deaths among children under five years. Acute hunger (undernutrition for a limited period), – usually caused by violent conflicts, droughts or natural disasters – affects 155 million people globally (source: ). In addition to undernutrition and micronutrient deficiencies, other forms of malnutrition that interfere with healthy living, such as obesity, are increasing.
Although the majority of food production takes place in rural areas, that is also where the majority of people going hungry live. Small farmers often own too little land and their productivity is limited by factors such as a lack of access to the working capital needed to sufficiently feed their families. In addition, a lack of market access not only limits the opportunity to purchase food at local markets, but also minimises sales opportunities for producers, which can lead to lower incomes. Poverty and hunger are thus closely linked to each other, creating a vicious circle: poverty leads to an unbalanced diet and malnutrition, which compromises health and productivity, which in turn intensifies poverty.
The global community has set out to end hunger by 2030 and achieve security of food supply. However, three global development trends are increasingly jeopardising the fight against hunger: climate change, conflicts and migration, as well as the deterioration of the economic situation in many countries, not least due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To achieve this goal despite these factors, we need to increase our efforts.
KfW Development Bank is involved in numerous projects all over the world focusing on food security, agriculture and rural development. The focus of KfW’s commitment here is on Sub-Saharan Africa. It includes increasing food production and income from agriculture, as well as increasing investments in infrastructure to reduce post-harvest losses and strengthening access to markets. In addition to these structural projects, KfW combats hunger and malnutrition in particularly vulnerable population groups through projects focusing on food aid, basic nutrition, and multisectoral aid. These target groups include women and children, as well as people in situations of crisis or conflict.
Sustainable agriculture plays a key role in combating hunger and malnutrition but is also critical to achieving other SDGs like ending poverty, halting biodiversity loss and climate action. KfW Development Bank has long been committed to a world without hunger. In 2020, new commitments contributing to the achievement of SDG 2 amounted to close to EUR 480 million. The projects financed with these funds play a role in reducing hunger and malnutrition for over 4.6 million people and improving farming for over 1.6 million people.