GOAL 2: ZERO HUNGER
End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
Goal 2 aims to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture by 2030. The triple burden of malnutrition – undernutrition, hidden hunger and overweight – threatens the survival, growth and development of children and young people. Well-nourished children are better able to grow and learn, to participate in their communities and to be resilient in the face of disease, disaster and other emergencies.
Estimates from 2019 show that nearly 690 million people were hungry in that year, or 8.9 per cent of the world’s population. Children and young people shoulder the greatest burden of all forms of malnutrition from the poorest and most marginalized communities. Worldwide, nearly half of all deaths in children under 5 are attributable to undernutrition. In 2019, 144 million children under 5, or 21.3 per cent were stunted, 47 million or 6.9 per cent, were wasted (of which 14.3 million were severely wasted) and 38 million, or 5.6 per cent, were overweight. Malnutrition during pregnancy can also affect nutrition outcomes in children, notably one third of females aged 15 to 49 years worldwide were affected by anemia in 2016, with no notable change over the last 2 decades.
UNICEF’s contribution towards reaching Goal 2 centres on nutrition, “By 2030 end all forms of malnutrition, including achieving by 2025 the internationally agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under 5 years of age, and address the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women, and older persons.” UNICEF also contributes to monitoring elements of indicator 2.2 on nutrition. Together with the World Health Organization and the World Bank, UNICEF is co-custodian for global monitoring of three of the four indicators that measure progress towards Target 2.2: Indicator 2.2.1 Prevalence of stunting (height for age <-2 standard deviation from the median of the WHO Child Growth Standards) among children under 5 years of age; Indicator 2.2.2a Prevalence of wasting (weight for height <-2 standard deviation from the median of the WHO Child Growth Standards) among children under 5 years of age; Indicator 2.2.2b Prevalence of overweight (weight for height >+2 standard deviation from the median of the WHO Child Growth Standards) among children under 5 years of age; the fourth indicator under target 2.2, Indicator 2.2.3, is Prevalence of anaemia in women aged 15 to 49 years, by pregnancy status.
Child-related SDG indicators
TARGET 2.2 By 2030, end all forms of malnutrition, including achieving, by 2025, the internationally agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under 5 years of age, and address the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women and older persons
To put children’s nutrition rights first, there are five key asks that should be included in governments’ development plans and agendas, as well as COVID-19 response plans and budgets:
- Empower families, children, young people and women to demand affordable nutritious food.
- Drive food supplies to do the right thing for children.
- Build health food environments for all children.
- Mobilize supportive systems to scale up nutrition results for every child.
- Collect, analyse and use good-quality data and evidence regularly to guid action and track progress.
Learn more about UNICEF’s key asks for implementing Goal 2