Just three years ago, in September 2015, all United Nations Member States approved the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The eradication of hunger and all forms of malnutrition (Sustainable Development Goal number 2) was defined by world leaders as a cardinal objective of the Agenda, a sine qua non condition for a safer, fairer and more peaceful world.
Everybody wants to end hunger. That is what all UN-member countries stated when signing the 2030 Agenda for a better world: the second of its 17 goals aims at eradicating all forms of malnutrition (which include overweight, obesity or micronutrient deficiencies) and ensuring that everybody has access to nutritious and healthy foods.
People in Yemen are currently suffering from the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.
More than 17 million people around Yemen’s rugged landscape are acutely food insecure, and the figure is likely to increase as the ongoing conflict continues to erode the ability to grow, import, distribute and pay for food. More than 7 million people are on the verge of famine, while the rest are marginally meeting the minimum day-to-day nutritional needs thanks to external humanitarian and livelihoods support. Large-scale famine is a real risk that will cast an awful shadow for generations to come.
Migration is part of the process of development. It is not a problem in itself, and could, in fact, offer a solution to a number of matters. Migrants can make a positive and profound contribution to the economic and social development of their countries of origin, transit and destination alike. To quote the New York Declaration, adopted at the UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants on 19 September, “migrants can help to respond to demographic trends, labour shortages and other challenges in host societies, and add fresh skills and dynamism to the latter’s economies”.
European nations from which millions once left to escape hardship and hunger – Greece, Ireland, Italy - are today destinations for others doing the same.
After its remarkable success in reducing hunger, Europe must now rise to the challenge of making sure food assures more than survival and furnishes healthy lives. As head of a global hunger-fighting organization, nothing gives me more satisfaction than to see a vast region of the world achieving food security for its people.
The next 15 years will be decisive for our planet’s future.
During this period we will face some of the 21st Century’s greatest challenges, amidst an ongoing and profound transition in the global economy.
In the last half-century, people’s lifestyles have changed dramatically. Life expectancy has risen almost everywhere, but this has been accompanied by an increase of so-called non-communicable diseases (NCDs) – such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, respiratory diseases, and diabetes – causing more and more deaths in all corners of the world.
Artificial meat. Indoor aquaculture. Vertical farms. Irrigation drones. Once the realm of science fiction, these things are now fact. Food production is going high tech – at least, in some places.
The scourge of malnutrition affects the most vulnerable in society, and it hurts most in the earliest stages of life. Today, more than 800 million people are chronically hungry, about 11 percent of the global population.
Continued growth in developing countries, along with poverty-reduction policies, have helped to improve both income and food security globally.
Modern biofuels have become a fact of life, part of a quest for more cost-effective and environmentally sustainable businesses and lifestyles. But to be truly sustainable, biofuel production must strike a balance between its benefits and its potential hidden costs, between energy security and food security.
A sense of urgency brought on in recent years by food price volatility inspired collective action to reduce the likelihood of further price spikes and food supply shocks.
Every year, we take a snapshot of world progress in the fight against chronic hunger. This year, the picture is looking better, but it’s still not good enough.
Around the world, but especially in the planet’s poorest regions, women represent a life force that renews itself daily, sometimes against all odds.
Recent decades have witnessed remarkable rates of growth for many developing countries. That is good news, as high growth rates of GDP per capita are a key factor in reducing food insecurity and malnutrition.
Despite a sudden increase in July this year, prices of cereals on world markets remained fairly stable. But there are no grounds for complacency, as cereals markets remain vulnerable to supply shocks and disruptive policy measures. In this context, the good harvests that are expected in the Southern Hemisphere are important.
The fight against poverty and hunger cannot waste time, nor disdain any scales of action. Public and private initiatives are critical and must include both family farming and so-called agribusiness. It is up to governments and international cooperation to harmonise this collective economic effort and to ensure that bigger harvests translate into increased food security for the needy.
As stated in the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment and the 1992 Earth Summit, human beings are at the centre of sustainable development. However, even today, over 900 million people still suffer from hunger. Poor populations worldwide, especially in rural areas, are among those most vulnerable to the food, climate, financial, economic, social and energy crises and threats the world faces today.
Guiding the transition from one cycle of development to another is among of the most daunting tasks in politics.
Lula launched the Zero Hunger Programme when he assumed the Brazilian presidency in January 2003, pledging that every Brazilian would be able to eat three meals a day.