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November 27, 2018

Hunger and Malnutrition Lessons from Latin America

A Roundtable

A woman shops at a fruit stall

Hunger is a problem among vulnerable populations in Latin America and the Caribbean. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO): “For the third year in a row, there has been a rise in world hunger. The absolute number of undernourished people, i.e. those facing chronic food deprivation, has increased to nearly 821 million in 2017, from around 804 million in 2016. These are levels from almost a decade ago.” Overweight and obesity is also an increasingly common condition throughout the region, particularly among women and children. FAO and the Pan American Health Organization noted that close to 360 million people, around 58 percent of the inhabitants of the region, are overweight. Obesity affects 140 million people, 23 percent of the region's population , with the highest rates found in Caribbean countries.

Gender plays an important role in this environment where the increase in the overweight and obese has disproportionately impacted women: In more than 20 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, the rate of female obesity is 10 percentage points higher than that of men, pointing to a gender divide and the need for effective policy interventions.

On November 27, join the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) in welcoming the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) Latin America Program, which is currently conducting research aimed at finding ways to improve the outlook of vulnerable populations in Latin America. Specifically, the program's research looks at the existing transition of food systems in Latin America through gender sensitive interventions and suggests policies that address hunger and malnutrition.

This event is sponsored by CLAS and the Latin America Leadership Program (LALP).

Eugenio Diaz-Bonilla is head of IFPRI Latin American and Caribbean Program.

Florencia Paz is a research analyst for IFPRI Latin America and Caribbean Program.

Patricia Caporaso is a visiting researcher at Georgetown University.

Patricia Biermayr-Jenzano (moderator) is an adjunct faculty member at CLAS in Georgetown University. 

Lunch will be provided. Email the event organizer at to notify us of any accessibility requests and/or dietary restrictions. A good faith effort will be made to fulfill all requests.