Facts and Data about Food Security in Asia and the Pacific

Article | 15 February 2012

Two-thirds of the world's one billion hungry reside in Asia and the Pacific. Rising food prices and other global factors are adding to the current problems of food shortages and undernutrition to millions more in the region.

  1. Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. Source: Declaration of the World Summit on Food Security
  2. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN, more people go hungry in the world today than at any time since 1970. Source: "A Growing Hunger" Development Asia
  3. Asia and the Pacific accounts for an astonishing 68% of the world's underweight children. Source: Approaches to Combat Hunger in Asia and the Pacific
  4. There has been a gradual rise in food prices since 2004. A return to a downtrend in world food prices experienced between the mid-1970s and the first years of this century seems unlikely. Source: ADB.org
  5. Food insecurity reached global center stage in 2007-2008 when cereal stockpiles fell to their lowest level in 30 years and prices of rice and wheat rose dramatically, precipitating riots and unrest in more than 20 countries. Source: Food Security and Climate Change in the Pacific: Rethinking the Options.
  6. Rice consumption has been on the decline since the 1990s due to more open trade, the globalization of tastes, and a shift to more balanced diets in Asia. Source: The Changing Role of Rice in Asia's Food Security
  7. Asia's poor spend more than half of their income on food with nearly one-fifth spending more than 70%. Source: ADB Operational Plan for Sustainable Food Security in Asia and the Pacific
  8. With climate change forecasted to hit Asia's farmers, many are already adapting their agricultural practices, including changing crop and livestock varieties, and improving water management. Source: Food for All: Investing in Food Security in Asia and the Pacific - issues, innovations and practices.
  9. By having small-scale farmers across Asia and the Pacific produce more food, they can generate more income in a sustainable manner. Source: Food for All: Investing in Food Security in Asia and the Pacific
  10. With 60% of the region's population estimated to be living in urban areas by 2025, massive investments in food distribution, storage and marketing facilities will be needed. Source: ADB.org
  11. The Pacific region is becoming increasingly food insecure as locals move away from traditional agriculture and fishing practices towards eating more imported food. Source: Food Security and Climate change in the Pacific
  12. ADB has committed $2 billion on sustainable food security annually between 2010-2012. Source: ADB.org