According to the latest Foresight Report from the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition (GLOPAN), three billion people around the world consume low-quality diets, and this nutrition crisis will likely only get worse in the coming decades. Population growth and climate change will place increasing stress on food systems, particularly in Africa and Asia. At the same time, rapidly increasing urbanization, particularly in these two regions, will affect hunger and nutrition in complex ways.

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The March edition of The Early Warning Crop Monitor was recently released, bringing together the monitoring efforts of international, regional, and national organizations on crop conditions within countries at risk of food insecurity. The subregions covered in the monitor are: East Africa and Yemen, West Africa, Northern Africa, Southern Africa, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, and Central America and the Caribbean.

Since the 2007-2008 food price crisis, food price volatility has been front and center in the international development conversation. The period of the crisis saw a dramatic rise in the international price of grains and other important commodities, while the years immediately following the crisis saw increasing grain price fluctuations on the international market.

Global trade is a complex, politically charged issue that has important implications for the global food system.

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The latest FAO Food Price Index was released last week, citing slightly higher food prices from January. The February Index rose by 0.9 points from the previous month. While this is a very slight increase, the Index is 17.2 percent higher than its February 2016 levels. It has now reached the highest level seen since February 2015.

FAO estimates that around the world, about 795 million people still suffer from hunger and more than two billion people suffer from micronutrient deficiencies or forms of over-nourishment. Simultaneously, historical and future achievements in food security are under threat due to climate change and increasing pressures on natural resources.

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Micronutrient deficiencies afflict more than two billion individuals worldwide. These deficiencies occur when the intake and absorption of vitamins and minerals are too low to sustain good health and development.

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It is estimated that deforestation, forest degradation, and peat land emissions account for about 15 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions. A REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) agreement was reached at COP 16 in 2010; since then, REDD policies have been introduced with the goal of preserving forests and proposals have been put forward to compensate developing countries for avoided deforestation.

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The FAO’s monthly report on food price trends was released on February 13. The bulletin reports on recent food price developments over the past month at the global, regional, and country levels, with a focus on developing countries, and provides early warnings for high country-level food prices that may negatively affect food security.