New metric to be launched on hunger and food insecurity

A new, faster and more precise way of measuring hunger and food insecurity across the world is soon to be field-tested by FAO in several pilot countries.  

"This innovative method will be an essential tool for governments, civil society and other national and international organizations in the fight against hunger", says Jomo Sundaram, FAO Assistant Director-General for Economic and Social Development. "It will also be  key to increasing the accountability of governments and in encouraging them to commit to hunger eradication". 

The new approach relies on gathering information on the extent and severity of hunger from food-insecure people, through a carefully-designed annual survey. 

Starting this month, the new approach - known as the Voices of the Hungry project - and will be finalized in collaboration with major experts in the field and tested on a pilot basis in four countries to be defined. The project will run for five years and will lead to the establishment of a new FAO-certified standard for food security monitoring that could then be easily adopted by other household surveys.

Essential tool in the fight against hunger

Presently, FAO is able to accurately monitor food availability at the national level, particularly in terms of potential energy intake, whereas the new indicator will measure food access at the individual level, and will provide a clearer idea of personal experiences with food insecurity. 

The new approach will complement FAO's existing indicator on the percentage of undernourished in the population, which was developed to monitor progress towards the first Millennium Development Goal of halving the prevalence of hunger by 2015. This is a much needed addition, since it provides information on  a range of aspects that characterize the experience of food insecurity, rather than only caloric consumption.

Eight questions

Under the Voices of the Hungry project, nationally representative samples of 1 000 to 5 000 people, depending on the size of the country, will be selected to answer eight questions designed to reveal whether and how respondents have experienced food insecurity in the previous 12 months. 

Read more on the survey in the original article from FAO, New Metric to be Launched on Hunger and Food Insecurity