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Global Report on the Food Crises on Zero Hunger

What has to be done to get to Zero Hunger?

The article focuses on analyzing the issue of hunger and food insecurity globally, as highlighted by the Global Report on the Food Crises (GRFC) 2023. The article explores the key drivers of food insecurity, the extent of the cost increase for a healthy diet, and regions where food insecurity is more prominent. Additionally, it provides insights into the solutions and suggestions offered by the report to achieve Zero Hunger.

What is the context?

The Global Report on the Food Crises (GRFC) 2023 estimates that between 691 million and 783 million people suffered from hunger in 2022, indicating a significant increase compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

Food Security 

Food security is defined as the physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets dietary needs for an active and healthy life. The GRFC reveals that while hunger is no longer on a steep rise globally, it remains far above pre-pandemic levels. In 2022, around 2.4 billion people did not have access to adequate food, showing an increase of 391 million people compared to 2019. Global hunger, measured by the prevalence of undernourishment, affected around 9.2% of the world population in 2022, a rise from 7.9% in 2019.

Key Drivers of Food Insecurity

The report identifies several reasons contributing to food insecurity. The pandemic-related disruptions, such as lockdowns and economic downturns in 2020, resulted in job losses and reduced incomes, affecting food accessibility for many people. The Ukraine war, unfavorable governmental policies, and increasing urbanization that brings changes to agrifood systems also contribute to the problem. Interestingly, the report indicates that global food insecurity is comparatively lower in urban areas.

Cost Increase for a Healthy Diet

The revised analysis in the report suggests that nearly 3.2 billion people worldwide could not afford a healthy diet in 2020, and while there was slight improvement in 2021, the cost of a healthy diet increased globally by 6.7% between 2019 and 2021. Furthermore, the report projects that almost 600 million people will face chronic undernourishment by 2030.

Solutions for Zero Hunger

The GRFC provides recommendations to address food insecurity and work towards achieving Zero Hunger. One crucial aspect is supporting healthier food outlets, enabling access to healthy diets. Policymakers must incentivize shops to sell fresh and minimally processed foods to improve nutrition. The report also highlights the significance of street foods, consumed by approximately 2.5 billion people daily due to convenience and affordability. Improving infrastructure and regulations in this sector can enhance nutritional safety and quality.

Moreover, building rural infrastructure, including quality roads, is essential to connect remote farms and enterprises to main road networks. Public investments in warehousing, cold storage, electrification, digital tools, and water supply can further support small and medium enterprises. Local governments play a pivotal role in implementing policies for making healthy diets accessible and affordable for all.

 Six key strategies to end world hunger, highlighted by the World Food Programme (WFP)

  • Empowering Smallholder Farmers
  • Improving Nutrition and Health
  • Social Safety Nets
  • Sustainable Agricultural Practices
  • Climate Resilience and Disaster Preparedness
  • Advocating for Policy Change
Conclusion and Way Ahead:

The Global Report on the Food Crises highlights the persisting issue of hunger and food insecurity worldwide, with millions of people still suffering from undernourishment. Achieving Zero Hunger remains a significant challenge, but the report’s recommendations provide a roadmap to address this critical issue. Policymakers, civil society, and the private sector must collaborate to support healthier food outlets, invest in rural infrastructure, and empower local governments to create lasting change in the fight against hunger.

Achieving Zero Hunger is a collective responsibility that demands comprehensive and sustainable solutions. By empowering smallholder farmers, improving nutrition and health, establishing social safety nets, promoting sustainable agriculture, building climate resilience, and advocating for policy change, we can make significant progress in ending world hunger. Together, we can create a hunger-free world and ensure that every individual has access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food for a healthy and fulfilling life.

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