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The latest annual Global Food Policy Report highlights the urgency of rural revitalisation in developing countries. The crisis in rural areas is threatening progress in hunger and poverty reduction, the report authors warn.

The 2019 Global Food Policy Report was published by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in March 2019. According to the report, rural areas continue to be in a state of crisis in many parts of the world. This threatens to slow progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, global climate targets, and improved food and nutrition security.

The majority of the world’s poor live in rural areas: rural populations account for 45.3 per cent of the world’s total population, but 70 per cent of the world’s extremely poor people. The global poverty rate in rural areas is currently 17 per cent, more than double the urban poverty rate of 7 per cent.

Rural areas remain under-served compared to urban areas and face a wide array of challenges across the globe: rural areas struggle with environmental crisis in China; severe agrarian crisis in India, and acute shortage of jobs for the growing youth populations in Africa.

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