At the 1996 World Food Summit (WFS), heads of government and the international community committed themselves to reducing the number
of hungry people in the world by half. Five years later, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) lowered this level of ambition by only seeking to halve the proportion
of the hungry.
The number of hungry people in the world has declined by over 100 million in the last decade and over 200 million since 1990-92, but 805 million people around the world still go hungry every day, according to the latest UN estimates.
“Only two years ago, the soup kitchen was serving 50 meals a day. Today the number has almost doubled and, what is even more worrying, we have started receiving families with children,” says Donatella Turri, director of the Caritas
Diocese of Lucca.
Food security is often thought of as a question of diversifying supply and being able to move food through areas plagued by local scarcity, relying on the global economic system – including trade and transport – as the basis for operations.
The official outlook for agriculture up to 2023 carries optimistic forecasts for agricultural productivity and commodity prices but it is unlikely that the benefits will be shared by the world’s poorest.
A declining economy and a severe drought have raised concerns in Lebanon over food security as the country faces one of its worst refugee crises, resulting from the nearby Syria war, and it is these refugees and impoverished Lebanese border populations that are most vulnerable to this new threat.
Attempts to genetically modify food staples, such as crops and cattle, to increase their nutritional value and overall performance have prompted world-wide criticism by environmental, nutritionists and agriculture experts, who say that protecting and fomenting biodiversity is a far better solution to hunger and malnutrition.
The spectre of famine is haunting Nicaragua. The second poorest country in Latin America, and one of the 10 most vulnerable to climate change in the world, is facing a meteorological phenomenon that threatens its food security.
The shea tree, a traditional African food plant, represents a major source of income for women in Ghana's Northern, Upper West and Upper East regions, but they are helping to destroy the very resource that gives them money by cutting it down to produce charcoal.
The choice of foods displayed on supermarket shelves can be quite bewildering. This abundance encourages us to take it for granted that we will always be able to buy the food we want at affordable prices.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will expire in 2015 and be replaced with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are intended to strengthen the international community's engagement with eradicating poverty and hunger.