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The Role of SDGs in Achieving Zero Hunger

Paloma Durán, is Director Sustainable Development Goals Fund at UNDP.

UNITED NATIONS, Jan 14 2016 (IPS) - It is a well-known fact that 795 million or one in nine are undernourished in our world today. This figure only goes up to more than one in eight for the developing world. Hunger kills more people every year than malaria, AIDS and tuberculosis combined. At the same time, the food industry is a major source of jobs and livelihoods.

The new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development recognizes that food is going to play a pivotal role in achieving sustainable development and as such in ensuring Zero Hunger. Various commentators recognize the pivotal role that Goal 2 of the SDGs (End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture) plays in achieving the other goals. So what can we do facilitate the achievement of Goal 2 in practical terms?

The Sustainable Development Goals Fund, the first mechanism established for SDG achievement, is already devising new platforms for joint engagement of UN Agencies, governments, civil society, businesses and communities in sustainable development with its work on the ground. In line with its constant efforts to push for innovation in promoting dialogue and action to achieve the SDGs, the SDG Fund is bringing to the table the acclaimed chefs, Joan, Jordi and Josep Roca who run El Celler de Can Roca restaurant in Girona, Spain.

With them, next January 18th at the UN, we will initiate a dialogue on the role of food and the SDGs and what how chefs like the Roca Brothers can contribute to sustainable development. You can be a part of this dialogue by signing up here or sending your questions to

With food security and nutrition defined as one of its key focus areas the SDG Fund is already funding four joint programmes that directly contribute towards achieving Goal 2. With our support, El Salvador’s government is developing new plans and regulations to tackle food security and nutrition among the most vulnerable. In Guatemala, the SDG Fund is working in 4 municipalities to increase the participation of children, youth, women and men in food security local governance mechanisms.

In Viet Nam, we operate in 2 provinces with extremely high poverty rates to focus on nutrition policies and standards and the development of institutional capacity and systems. In Fiji, Samoa and Vanuatu, the SDG Fund is engaging youth in organic farming through a farm to table chain approach.

Some key themes to be debated during the dialogue with the Roca brothers will include:
• Food security and improved nutritional outcomes: local food sourcing, food waste and food loss reduction, environmental aspects of food, food preparation, the role of smallholder farmers and conservation and use of food;
• Rethinking how the food and restaurant industry landscape can create more and better jobs, protect the environment, revitalize endemic culinary traditions, educate children and youth on better eating and cooking habits and encourage food-related activities as a source of sustainable livelihoods and especially women’s role along the food chain;
• Establish a stronger understanding of sustainability issues linked to boosting farm yields and offsetting farming challenges;
• In addressing access to food, looking beyond nutrition issues to recognize food as an important engine for inclusive economic growth, reducing poverty and peacebuilding;
• Analyzing the role that Climate change is adding to the challenge of achieving sustainable food production and meeting the demands of a growing population;
• Recognizing adequate feeding and care as an integral part of national strategies and programmes to reduce hunger and undernutrition. Including promoting exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months and appropriate complementary feeding, basic requirements for nutritional wellbeing.


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