Asian Development Bank, ADB

Session 2C: Building Human Capital, Protecting Development Gains: Food Security and Nutrition as the Building Blocks of Social Protection in Asia and the Pacific

Although the Asia Pacific region has made significant strides in economic growth and social development in recent decades, many countries continue to struggle with high levels of acute food insecurity, poverty, poor nutrition, multidimensional poverty and inequality, aggravated by various types of shocks, such as climate and weather induced disasters, conflict and economic and health crises. Food insecurity and malnutrition remain significant challenges for the Asia Pacific region. As per the latest Asia-Pacific Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition, more than one billion people experienced moderate or severe food insecurity in 2021, with 460 million facing severe food insecurity. Additionally, 396 million people in the region were undernourished, including 75 million stunted children and almost 10 percent of children under five years of age who were wasted. This panel discussion, led by the World Food Program (WFP) on ‘Building human capital, protecting development gains: Food security and nutrition as the building blocks of social protection in Asia Pacific’, aimed to shed light on the critical issues of food security, nutrition and social protection in the Asia Pacific region and their interconnected role in addressing developmental challenges.