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The sustainable development goals (SDGs) represent a global agreement on priorities for health, environment, social and economic development (UN, 2016). SDG2 – zero hunger – explicitly addresses food insecurity, malnutrition in all its forms and sustainable agriculture. Countries are pursuing a range of policies and programs to achieve the targets embedded in SDG2.
The European Union has invested in 66 countries under the FIRST program (Food Insecurity Impact, Resilience, Sustainability, and Transformation); 24 of the FIRST countries are priorities for EU investments. In 2019, FAO was asked by the EU to conduct a stocktaking exercise for the 24 priority FIRST countries to ascertain, to date, the progress in addressing SDG2. The stocktaking involved four related activities: 1. Country diagnostic reports 2. Literature Review of articles relevant to food security, nutrition, agriculture, social safety nets, gender and political economy 3. Quantitative analyses 4. Key informant interviews. Details on the results of 1, 2 and 3 can be found in a companion publication (Kennedy et al, 2020). The purpose of the key informant interviews was to capture experiential evidence that is often not adequately captured in journal articles. The interviews provided a “boots on the ground” perspective that helped elucidate the challenges at the country level in implementing policies and programs targeting SDG2.
The purpose of this paper is to summarize the information provided by thought leaders involved in various aspects of SDG2 in 24 FIRST countries.
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