On Tuesday, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization released its most recent flagship publication, The State of Food Insecurity in the World, which highlights the current patterns and trends of food insecurity throughout the world.
The report evaluates the effectiveness of government policies in combatting the issue of food insecurity. The publication praised the efforts of several Latin American governments in their attempt to combat hunger and food insecurity.
Among the countries mentioned were Brazil, Bolivia, Cuba and Venezuela, which according to the report have experienced sharp reductions in hunger over the last 10 years.
The report found that the 10 countries that have achieved greatest success in reducing the total number of hungry people in proportion to their national population are: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Cuba, Georgia, Ghana, Kuwait, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Thailand and Venezuela.
In particular, the document singles out Bolivia and Brazil as countries that have addressed food insecurity by boosting agricultural productivity (and incomes), promoting rural development and facilitating access to adequate food for those in need.
The report states that as a result of inclusive and pro-poor food security policies, Bolivia saw a rapid decline of hunger by 7.4 percent during 2009-11 and 2012-14.
The study also noted that Bolivia experienced a sharp decrease in chronic undernourishment in children less than three years of age, which fell from 41.7 percent in 1989 to 18.5 percent in 2012.
In efforts to reduce food insecurity, in 2010, the Ministry of Rural Development outlined a 5 year plan, in order to address the problem of food insecurity. The plan lends financial, technical and material assistance to domestic food sovereignty agencies.
In addition, the plan promoted the expansion of the role of EMAPA, the state run food agency, in order to guarantee that Bolivian families have access to affordable and high quality food.
On average, a Bolivian family spends 54 percent of their disposable income on food.
Last year, EMAPA announced that plans launch 280 additional food distribution centers in which 50 percent of staple foods will be provided and sold at a fair price.
The FAO report also highlighted the Brazilian model of promoting food security, which is based on the Zero Hunger Program, which focuses on eliminating through political policies that promote food security, linking productive support to social protection.
In 2006, Brazil approved a National Food and Nutrition Security Law, which lead to the creation of the National Food and Nutrition Security Plan that incorporates more than 40 programs.
According to FAO, federal expenditures on food security and nutrition programs and actions totaled approximately US$35 billion in 2013.
In 2013, social protection programs accounted for the largest portion of Federal allocations to food security and nutrition, while programs related to food production and distribution, including those to promote family farming, accounted for one-sixth.