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Special Issue Article Open Access

Food and nutrition security in Nepal


The number of undernourished people in the world is estimated to be increased to 815 million in 2016, up from 777 million in 2015 but still down from about 900 million in the year 2000. Similarly, while the prevalence of undernourishment is projected to have increased to an estimated 11 percent in 2016, this is still well below the level of a decade ago. Nonetheless, the recent increase is a cause for great concern and poses a significant challenge for international commitments to end hunger by 2030. The 2030 SDG Agenda call on all countries and stakeholders to work together to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture by 2030. A multi-sectoral approach which connects nutritional outcome, agricultural productivity and household income is needed to address the issue. Such an approach must highlight the interconnectedness between agriculture and nutrition and the need to consider food diversity as an important aspect of food security. Multi sectorial approach also needs to consider the agri-food systems as a whole instead of focusing on individual food components. Among countries in the SAARC region, prevalence of undernourishment (PoU) is highest for Afghanistan at 23%, followed by Sri Lanka at 22% for 2014-16. The estimate is lowest for Nepal at 8.1%. The proportion in Bangladesh and India are similar and in the range 14-15% with these two populous countries accounting for most of the absolute number of under-nourished in the region (FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP and WHO, 2017)  

Karunakar Ghimire

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