Are Healthy Diets Affordable? Using New Data To Guide Agricultural and Food Policy

Food security is a basic human need, but two in five people – or around 3 billion citizens of our planet – cannot afford a healthy diet. Diet costs have risen in recent months, with food price inflation above 5% in many countries as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate shocks, the war in Ukraine and other factors. Urgent action is needed to address food insecurity in 2022. This event brought together a panel of experts from countries, international agencies, and academia to discuss new food security indicators on diet costs and affordability and their use in guiding agricultural and food policy both globally and domestically. Learn more:

– Maximo Torero, Chief Economist, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
– Adeyinka Onabolu, Senior Advisor on Food Security & Nutrition, GAIN/Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Government of Nigeria
– Johan Swinnen, Global Director, Systems Transformation, CGIAR and Director General, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
– Nada Hamadeh, Manager, Development Data Group, World Bank Group
– Malinda Seneviratne, Director, Hector Kobbekaduwa Agrarian Research and Training Institute, Government of Sri Lanka
– Masresha Tessema, Director of Food Science and Nutrition Research, Ethiopian Public Health Institute, Government of Ethiopia
– Aart Kray, Acting Senior Vice President and WBG Chief Economist, Development Economics, World Bank Group
– Enock Chikava, Interim Director, Agricultural Development, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
– Anna Herforth, Co-Director of the Food Prices for Nutrition project
– William Masters, Professor and Food Prices for Nutrition project Director, Tufts University

00:00 Welcome and opening remarks
07:31 Presentation: Food Prices for Nutrition indicators
22:45 FAO’s vision for using these new diet cost indicators
31:18 Nigeria: Using subnational data on the cost of healthy diets
37:54 Ethiopia: National food-based dietary guidelines
42:04 Addressing the high cost and unaffordability of non-staple foods
48:31 Visions from Sri Lanka on the cost of a healthy diet
55:15 Live Q&A: Local diverse food production and localized distribution
59:00 Live Q&A: Gaps and subnational differences in Ethiopia
01:01:23 Live Q&A: The factor of seasonality in the cost of healthy diets
1:03:55 Live Q&A: The impact of inflation
1:06:55 Live Q&A: Non-market food sources in the agenda of healthy diets
1:08:53 Live Q&A: Data driven by demand or by supply?
1:15:16 Policy decisions on food subsidies programs vs targeted programs
1:19:14 Increasing the coverage and frequency of food price data
1:22:53 Closing remarks

ABOUT THE WORLD BANK GROUP The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for low-income countries. Its five institutions share a commitment to reducing poverty, increasing shared prosperity, and promoting sustainable development.