Hunger continues to persist, according to FAO
In its latest annual report, entitled "The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World", the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) voices its concern over issues such as hunger and food insecurity.
Among the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals to be attained by 2030, SDG 2 "Zero hunger" deserves our full attention.
According to the FAO’s latest annual report, nearly 815 million people, one fifth of the world population, are undernourished. Unfortunately, this figure is on the rise, because it was estimated at 777 million in 2015.
The FAO – an essential partner of the Belgian Development Cooperation - also notes that there is a strong correlation between hunger and war: more than half of the 815 million undernourished people are currently living in conflict zones where hunger will continue to persist. Despite abundant production and global food reserves, access to resources is very limited in areas of civil conflict.
In addition, there are various forms of malnutrition: child malnutrition, anaemia among women and obesity among nearly 1.9 billion adults.
Furthermore, malnutrition and undernourishment have a severe effect on children: roughly 155 million children under five suffer from growth retardation, with South Asia being particularly affected, and nearly 45 percent of them die as a consequence of this.
Food security has often been heavily impacted, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, south-east Asia and western Asia.
To achieve SDG 2 by 2030, several measures need to be taken: investing in the production of small landowning farmers (500 million), fostering agricultural biodiversity and giving female farmers the same access to resources as their male counterparts.
In this way, we will be able to increase food security and agricultural production, feed more people, contribute to a sustainable agricultural system and reduce the number of people currently suffering from hunger by approximately 150 million.