Sepesa Curuki and his community are coming to terms with the prospect of relocation from Cogea village on Fiji’s second-largest island of Vanua Levu. Their village, which lies between two rivers that flow into the Pacific Ocean only 2km away, has been battered by intense and frequent cyclones, flooding and erosion, threatening their very existence.
Current food systems are no longer fit for the 21st century. Inequitable distribution, poor nutritional habits, and climate change are three issues breaking down our global food systems today, forcing us to look for solutions to transform them. Food aid – very much part of our global food systems – needs to be responsive to the challenges that lie ahead.
With the world still counting the social and economic costs of the Covid-19 pandemic, amid a fresh “code red
” on the climate crisis, food may not seem like the most pressing threat to humanity.
On September 20, Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina accepted an award from the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network for her country’s ‘striking’ progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Amid scepticism and a lack of public interest, domestic crises and the backdrop of Covid-19, last week the BRICS countries delivered on their commitment to hold an annual summit without showing the signs of disunity that has beset the group in recent years.
Food processing extends shelf-life and can transforms raw food into attractive, marketable products. It can also prevent contamination. The transformation can involve numerous physical and chemical processes such as mincing, cooking, canning, liquefaction, pickling, macerating, emulsification, irradiation and lyophilization. Frozen processed and raw food changes transport and storage requirements radically; while the packaging of food, both raw and processed, is an industry unto itself.
Food security experts have raised an alarm that with as many as 811 million people the world over or 10 percent of the global population going hungry, the world is off-track to ending hunger and malnutrition.
When the UN Charter
was being drafted in the closing days of the Second World War in 1945, a debate ensued on what its opening words should be. Jan Smuts, representative of colonial South Africa, had originally suggested that the UN Charter begin with the words, ‘The High Contracting Parties.’
COVID-19 has exposed serious vulnerabilities in how people around the world access and consume food.
One of the more alarming trends is the significant increase in the consumption of foods that may be tasty and convenient, but harm our heath. These ultra-processed products include sugary drinks, snack foods, frozen meals, packaged breads and frozen desserts.
Why is the UN holding a Food Systems Summit? Two issues that need discussion at the international leadership level are: Long before the Covid crisis was upon us, the number of hungry people in the world was increasing. Why ? What is the cause of this disturbing trend? And, can a country really claim to be food secure, unless it produces or can buy enough food to feed its population and its people can access sufficient quantities to keep themselves fit and healthy? Disquietening questions as extreme weather begins to show the destructive power that climate change will have on the planet and its people.
When the NDC Partnership, the alliance which helps governments to determine and achieve their climate goals, held its first-ever Global Youth Engagement Forum in July, several segments were underpinned by Jamaica’s model of engaging young people and sustaining youth interest in climate initiatives.
As developing countries struggle to cope with the pandemic, they risk being set back further by restrictive fiscal policies. These were imposed by rich countries who no longer practice them if they ever did. Instead, the global South urgently needs bold policies to ensure adequate relief, recovery and reform.
Last year, as the world grappled to survive the Covid-19 Pandemic, Megan Fernandas an accountant living in Toronto, was trying to face her biggest fear, not the COVID-19 virus, but missing her doctor's appointment after surviving a rigorous fight against stage 2 breast cancer.
Dubbed ‘the People’s Summit, the United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) hopes to put the world back on a path to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, through food systems overhauling. From the tempered to the extremely optimistic, experts in various food system sectors share their expectations of transformation.
COVID-19 has exposed numerous fractures in global food systems that leave millions at risk of food insecurity. Like the numerous political failures in dealing with COVID, the repercussions of food system failings are experienced by rich and poor countries alike, with the poorest and most marginalised paying the greatest price.
In the San Lorenzo Huitzizilapan Otomí indigenous community, in the state of Mexico –adjacent to the country’s capital–, access to water has been based on collective work.
The president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, has been widely criticised for his authoritarian tendencies, but has said that the changes he plans will be long-term - which to his critics means a further undercutting of the weak democratic institutions that he has already begun to dismantle.
The traumatic events that occurred in recent weeks in Afghanistan have once again placed this Asian country at the center of the world’s attention with high-impact coverage and analysis in the media.
Women, key contributors to agriculture production, are missing at the decision table, with alarming consequences, says Food Tank President Danielle Nierenberg in an exclusive interview with IPS.
Chhattisgarh was one of the first few states
in the country to universalise the public distribution system (PDS) and provide ‘Right to Food’ to its people. In order to ensure access to quality foodgrains for its vulnerable population, the state introduced the Food Security Act
in 2012. The state has been providing support
—35 kg of rice at INR 1 and INR 2 per kg; 1 kg of iodised salt and 1 kg refined oil at no cost; 2 kg of grams at INR 5 per kg—to each eligible family (as defined in the act).
This is the third serious attempt to inject some momentum in the negotiations between the Venezuelan government and opposition. Negotiations have been taking place in Mexico since last Friday, with Norway acting as mediator.