United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

Targets and Indicators



By 2030, end hunger and ensure access by all people, in particular the poor and people in vulnerable situations, including infants, to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round


Prevalence of undernourishment


Prevalence of moderate or severe food insecurity in the population, based on the Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES)



By 2030, end all forms of malnutrition, including achieving, by 2025, the internationally agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under 5 years of age, and address the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women and older persons


Prevalence of stunting (height for age <-2 standard deviation from the median of the World Health Organization (WHO) Child Growth Standards) among children under 5 years of age


Prevalence of malnutrition (weight for height >+2 or <-2 standard deviation from the median of the WHO Child Growth Standards) among children under 5 years of age, by type (wasting and overweight)



By 2030, double the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, in particular women, indigenous peoples, family farmers, pastoralists and fishers, including through secure and equal access to land, other productive resources and inputs, knowledge, financial services, markets and opportunities for value addition and non-farm employment


Volume of production per labour unit by classes of farming/pastoral/forestry enterprise size


Average income of small-scale food producers, by sex and indigenous status



By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality


Proportion of agricultural area under productive and sustainable agriculture



By 2020, maintain the genetic diversity of seeds, cultivated plants and farmed and domesticated animals and their related wild species, including through soundly managed and diversified seed and plant banks at the national, regional and international levels, and promote access to and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, as internationally agreed


Number of plant and animal genetic resources for food and agriculture secured in either medium or long-term conservation facilities


Proportion of local breeds classified as being at risk, not-at-risk or at unknown level of risk of extinction



Increase investment, including through enhanced international cooperation, in rural infrastructure, agricultural research and extension services, technology development and plant and livestock gene banks in order to enhance agricultural productive capacity in developing countries, in particular least developed countries


The agriculture orientation index for government expenditures


Total official flows (official development assistance plus other official flows) to the agriculture sector



Correct and prevent trade restrictions and distortions in world agricultural markets, including through the parallel elimination of all forms of agricultural export subsidies and all export measures with equivalent effect, in accordance with the mandate of the Doha Development Round


Producer Support Estimate


Agricultural export subsidies



Adopt measures to ensure the proper functioning of food commodity markets and their derivatives and facilitate timely access to market information, including on food reserves, in order to help limit extreme food price volatility


Indicator of food price anomalies

Progress and Info

Even before the pandemic, the number of people going hungry and suffering from food insecurity had been gradually rising since 2014. The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the vulnerabilities and inadequacies of global food systems, which could add hundreds of millions more people to the chronically undernourished, making the goal of ending hunger a more distant reach. The COVID-19 pandemic might have pushed an additional 83-132 million into chronic hunger in 2020. In addition, countries around the world continue to struggle with multiple forms of malnutrition.

Even before the pandemic, the number of people affected by hunger globally has been slowly on the rise since 2014. It is estimated that nearly 690 million people in the world were hungry in 2019, or 8.9% of the world population – up by nearly 60 million in five years. Updated estimates coming out in July 2021 will provide a more recent picture of the effects of the pandemic on hunger.

An estimated 25.9% of the world population – about 2 billion people – were affected by moderate or severe food insecurity in 2019, an increase from 22.4% in 2015. The fastest rise was in Latin America and the Caribbean, although the highest levels were found in sub-Saharan Africa.

Globally, 149.2 million or 22.0% of children under age 5 are suffering from stunting (low height for age) based on the latest estimates for 2020, decreasing from 24.4% in 2015. These numbers may however become higher due to continued constraints in accessing nutritious diets and essential nutrition services during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the full impact possibly taking years to manifest.

In 2020, wasting (low weight for height) and overweight affected 45.4 million (6.7%) and 38.9 million (5.7%) children under age 5, respectively. Wasting will be one of the conditions most impacted by COVID-19 in the short term, and around 15% more children than estimated may have suffered from wasting, due to deterioration in household wealth and disruptions in the availability and affordability of nutritious food and essential nutrition services. Childhood overweight (high weight for height) may also rise in some countries where unhealthy food replaced fresh, nutritious food, and movement restrictions constrained opportunities for physical activity for long periods of time.

In women, anaemia increases the risk of adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes. In 2019, global anaemia prevalence was 29.9% in women of reproductive age, 29.6% in non-pregnant women, and 36.5% in pregnant women. Prevalence was higher in Central Asia and Southern Asia (47.5% in women of reproductive age).

The average labor daily productivity of small-scale food producers in the limited number of surveyed countries is lower than for large-scale producers. Similarly, large-scale food producers earn up to 2 or 3 times the annual income of small-scale food producers. In almost all surveyed countries, male-headed households achieve higher labour productivity and earn a larger annual income compared to their female-counterparts.

Global holdings of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture in 2020 reached 5.7 million accessions, conserved in 831 genebanks by 114 countries and territories and 17 regional and international research centres. Although the total number of global holdings has grown, the growth rate has decreased over the past ten years reaching its lowest level in 2020.

The world is still far from maintaining the genetic diversity of farmed and domesticated animals, either in the field or in genebanks. For 61% of local livestock breeds, the risk status remains unknown. Of the limited number of surveyed local livestock breeds, 74% are deemed at risk of extinction. At the same time, only 203 out of a global total of 7700 local livestock breeds have sufficient material in genebanks to reconstitute the breed in case of extinction.

Whilst the share of aid to agriculture has hovered around 5%, in volume terms, it has more than doubled since 2002, representing total disbursements of $13 billion in 2019.

A continuous downward trend is observed in export subsidy outlays notified to the WTO. Total notified annual outlays fell from its peak of US$ 6.7 billion in 1999 to US$ 138 million in 2018. In December 2015, WTO Members adopted the Ministerial Decision on Export Competition, thus formally agreeing to eliminate all forms of agricultural export subsidies entitlements.

At the global level, the share of countries afflicted by high food prices broadly decreased from 2014-2015 to 2018-2019, with the notable exception of Central, Southern and Western Asia and North Africa due to reduced domestic availabilities of staple food and currency depreciations in some countries in these regions.

Source: Advance unedited copy of 2021 report of the Secretary-General on Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals