World Food Day – Zero Hunger Challenge
TOPIC: General Studies 2
- Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
- Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes
“A potent combination of hunger, climate change and man-made conflicts are creating a perfect storm. You’ve got a nightmare, the perfect storm heading your way.”
The UN aims to achieve a Zero Hunger world by 2030, but faces three obstacles: conflicts, climate change and an economic slowdown.
- Children are dying at a rate of every five to ten seconds” from hunger or malnutrition
- Food is being wasted both during the production process and in people’s kitchens.
- For every one percent increase in hunger, there’s a two percent increase in migration. It is not a problem wealthier countries can simply ignore, for it has a knock-on effect on them in terms of the migration crisis.
- Some 821 million people, or one of every nine people on the planet, suffered from hunger in 2017, marking the third consecutive annual increase, according to the UN’s latest hunger report.
- An estimated 155 million children under five years old are chronically malnourished, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), while micronutrient deficiencies, dubbed the “hidden hunger”, affects over two billion people worldwide.
- At the same time, over 600 million people are obese. The costs to society of the ‘global pandemic’ of obesity are enormous – as expensive as armed conflicts and smoking
In News: The World Food Day was being observed globally on October 16th. It is observed every year in honour of the Food & Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations which was founded in 1945. The principal reason behind launching and celebrating world food day is to secure and advance the food security across the world, particularly in days of the crisis.
The World Food Day theme for 2018: ‘Our actions are our future’, it calls for a global pledge to achieve zero hunger by 2030.
- FAO claims that the ‘unrealistic’ target can be achieved if a sustainable lifestyle is adopted globally.
- According to an FAO report, in a world where millions are forced to sleep hungry every day due to poverty, 672 million people suffer from obesity and 1.3 billion people are overweight owing to sedentary lifestyle and food habits.
- The goal is to re-mobilize public opinion not only to fight hunger in the world but also to eradicate it permanently and ensure a sustainable future for all.
8 Reasons Why Zero Hunger Changes the World
- Zero hunger could save the lives of 3.1 million children a year
- Well-nourished mothers have healthier babies with stronger immune systems
- Ending child undernutrition could increase a developing country’s GDP by 16.5 percent
- Proper nutrition early in life could mean 46 percent more in lifetime earnings
- Eliminating iron deficiency in a population could boost workplace productivity by 20 percent
- Ending nutrition-related child mortality could increase a workforce by 9.4 percent
- Zero hunger can help build a safer, more prosperous world for everyone
What is happening?
Living on an energy dense, micronutrient deficient diets lead to an increase in obesity, diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases (stroke and myocardial infarction).
It is becoming common to see households adopting coping strategies such as buying larger amounts of cereals and cheaper cuts of meat, having smaller food portion sizes at meal times, or even reducing the number of meals a day, which leads to the development of nutrition-related diseases and, in extreme conditions, death.
This situation can have an even worse effect on children, as it impacts on their ability to learn. It affects their concentration and can lead to illness and losing school time. This often leads to children dropping out before high school, sentencing them to a life of poverty, unemployment, low-paying jobs, and an increased likelihood of food insecurity – a cycle that could repeat for generations.
The saddest reality about the global food security scenario is that its impact is felt the most by any society’s most vulnerable people – mainly women and children, whose nutritional shortfall can be as much as three times higher than that of men. Hunger seems to be a problem with many inequalities.
How do we achieve #ZeroHunger?
Taking action is no longer just an option; it has become an absolute necessity. This means a lot of effort has to go into improving food production systems, by having more people working more closely together, globally and locally.
Governments also need to develop policies focused on promoting connections between social protection, sustainable agriculture, nutrition, health, and education. The ways that different sectors and local authorities work together to improve access to nutrition and nutrition education must be significantly improved to lower the effects of malnutrition.
Produce more, with less: Using an integrated farming approach will not only help farmers increase their crops’ yield, and thus their profits, but can also improve the quality of their farmland.
And finally, while these collective efforts are necessary, individuals also have an urgent role to play – we must all use natural resources more wisely, to produce nutritious diets and reduce our food waste.
Note: Sustainable Development Goal 2 – “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture”
Connecting the Dots:
- Hunger is not related as much to food production as to access and distribution. Comment. Are policies related to food production and distribution in India aligned accordingly? Examine.
- What do you understand by ‘hidden hunger’? Which sections of the population are affected most by hidden hunger? What are its causes? Analyse.
- Despite rapid economic growth, hunger and malnutrition remain a challenge in many districts of India. Why? Analyse.