Food Security Nobel Peace Prize: Comparing Brazil and the World

FGV Social

The news that the UN's World Food Program was awarded the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize puts the topic of food insecurity back on the agenda. In this respect, Brazil occupies a prominent place, both from the point of view of its role as a food supplier country and the challenges Brazilians have to face regarding food security.

The Hunger Nobel Prize

It was not yet this time that a Brazilian received the Nobel Prize but we are getting closer to it. Brazil is the homeland of Josué de Castro, author of Geography of Hunger in 1943 and president of the FAO Executive Council, in addition to being the homeland of José Graziano, its last director.

Evidence on hunger and food insecurity challenges those who believe that hunger is a problem of the past in Brazil, a country known as “the World’s Farm” for its global food producer role. Food insecurity, which had fallen from 34.9% of households in 2004 to 22.6% in 2013, rises again, reaching 36.7% in 2018 according to the Brazilian Household Budget Survey (POF / IBGE). FGV Social’s research using Gallup World Poll data shows that it remained high in 2019. Characterizing the worsening perceptions of having money for food, i.e. food insecurity, Brazil had 17% of the population agreeing that they lacked money for food in 2014, which put the country in the No. 36 position in a list of 150 countries. Recently, 30 % of Brazilians claimed not having enough money for food in 2019 - corresponding to position 82 among 145 countries.

In order to capture the Brazilian inequality of food insecurity in 2019, 53% of the citizens among the poorest 20% Brazilians claimed not having enough money for food, while only 10% among the richest 20% Brazilians were in the same situation. In the world, the figures were 48% of the individuals in the poorest 20% and 21% in the richest 20%. In other words, our poorest individuals today face more food insecurity than the world’s poorest citizens, while our richest ones are in the exact opposite situation. We have also collected data on food insecurity by sex, age, income etc.

To access the page of the study, click here.

FGV Social aims to contribute to the brazilian inclusive development connecting applied research with the debate on society and the implementation of public policies. Addressing in an integrated manner the most pressing social issues of the brazilian scene, acts on behalf of the diffusion of knowledge and inspiration of new inclusive practices.