Ending hunger and malnutrition – the chief manifestation of food security – is among the greatest challenges humanity faces. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), there are approximately 850 million undernourished people in the developing world – this population is mostly a subset of the 1.3 billion people that the World Bank estimates to be living on less than 1.25 US dollars (USD) per day. Progress has been uneven, and the world is not on track in reaching the hunger targets established as part of the first Millennium Development Goal (MDG1).
Better Policies for Development, published by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2013, emphasises that building global food security requires a cross-cutting approach to policy coherence for development (PCD). This is critical to addressing the multiple dimensions of global food security, and to dealing with conditions that constrain development, such as barriers to trade, markets, knowledge and technology. It also advocates for going beyond the “do no harm” stance and adopting a more proactive approach to PCD. This entails policies that create synergies across sectors, such as agriculture, trade, investment, environment and development co-operation, and that foster an enabling environment conducive to food security.
The publication explores ways in which more coherent policies in advanced, emerging and developing economies alike, as well as, globally can contribute to improved global food security, thereby accelerating progress on MDG1 and whatever hunger targets are established for the post-2015 development agenda. It offers recommendations in four areas:
The key policy messages emerging from this analysis include the following:
For more information see: OECD (2013), Better Policies for Development: In Focus 2013: Policy Coherence for Development and Global Food Security, OECD, Paris.
Ernesto Soria Morales
Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development