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A new study calculates the cost to end hunger

Updated: Jun 14

The amount of aid that G7 countries have contributed towards food security and rural development has nearly tripled since 2000. This is an encouraging finding from a new study, Ending Hunger by 2030 - Consequences of Complacency and the New Financial Needs for Achieving SDG 2, published by ZEF (The Centre for Development Research at the University of Bonn) and the FAO. Hesat2030 Co-Chair David Laborde co-authored the study. 


This study provides a calculation of the investments needed to achieve SDG 2: Zero hunger. It follows up on previous estimates, with a considerable discussion on the Ceres2030 findings, to re-evaluate costs and priorities. However, the study notes that because of the deterioration in global environment since 2020, costs have increased significantly, and only some of this increase can be attributed to inaction.  


As introduced in Ceres2030, and applied in Hesat2030 initiatives, the study makes use of a dynamic computable general equilibrium model. It presents two possible scenarios and costings to end hunger: 


  1. A short-term investment of US$ 27 billion annually is needed to bring 500 million people out of hunger by 2030. Reducing hunger and malnutrition for 700 million people will increase costs to US$ 90 billion per year.  

  2. Extending the zero hunger deadline to 2040 whch will cost US$ 10 billion annually to reach 500 million people and US$ 21 million annually to target 700 million people. 


The study calls for immediate investment in short-term actions to reduce hunger through humanitarian assistance and social protection programmes as well as long-term investments in productivity-enhancing and sustainble solutions. 


In addition, it calls for a number of global policy actions including: 

  • Facilitating the integration of global level actions in the key areas of hunger reduction together with actions on climate resilience, health, biodiversity and international trade.  

  • Developing a strong finance agenda for the investments needed to end hunger and achieve other key nutrition targets. 

  • Encouraging institutional innovations and enhanced coordination for a sound science – policy interface from national to global levels, and  

  • Strengthening the capacities for national level implementation, especially in emerging economies, with increased domestic and international support,  

  • Leveraging initiatives such as the Global Alliance Against Hunger and Poverty proposed by the Brazilian G20 presidency to accelerate progress in this process.  

These actions align with Hesat2030 priorities. As such, Hesat2030 will build upon the report findings with, in addition, an expanded focus that integrates climate change mitigation and adaptation, nutrition, and gender equality as part of its roadmap to end hunger. 


The current work by core Hesat2030 initiatives implement many of the study’s recommended policy actions. For example, the Zero Hunger Coalition, provides countries with context-specific roadmaps for ending hunger sustainably by identifying the most effective and cost efficient interventions to end hunger. It also brings together national stakeholders to support roadmap implementation and works with other global initiatives such as the Aquatic Blue Foods Coalition and the African Food System Parliamentary Network.  

The Juno Evidence Alliance, which will soon release its State of the Field report, harnesses the latest developments in AI and large language models for rapid evidence synthesis from diverse data sources. This evidence-base provides decision makers with the most comprehensive overview of relevant scientific research to guide policy. Most recently, researchers preparing the Avanzar2030 policy recommendations for Latin America and the Caribbean used these evidence synthesis tools. 

Later this year, Hesat2030 will publish its first report will identify the most effective and cost-efficient interventions for providing healthier diets and ending hunger in low-income countries. 




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