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Tackling Global Hunger

What is the issue?

1. According to the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2019 report around 820 million people worldwide go hungry every day.

2. One in every nine people globally face hunger on a daily basis.

3. Nearly 2 billion people across the world do not have regular access to safe and nutritious food.

4. The number of people with insufficient food has risen for the third year in a row and the number of hungry people across the globe is back to where it was almost a decade ago.

Status of Hunger by region:

Region

Status

Africa

Hunger is on the rise in almost all African sub regions making Africa the region with the highest prevalence of undernourishment at almost 20%.

Western Asia

It shows continuous increase since 2010 with more than 12 percent of its population undernourished.

Latin America and the Caribbean

Hunger is still below 7 percent but is slowly increasing in many countries where economic growth is lagging, particularly in middle income countries and those that rely heavily on primary commodity trade.

South Asia

It saw great progress over the last five years but almost 15 percent of the population is still undernourished which is highest in Asia.

Overall Asia

Undernourishment affects 11 percent population.

Global Hunger Index

1. 45 out of 119 countries were found to have serious levels of hunger.

2. 27 countries with moderate levels of hunger and 40 countries with low levels of hunger.

3. GHI ranking of India and its neighbours (Out of 118 countries)

Country

GHI Ranking

India

103

China

25

Nepal

72

Sri Lanka

67

Myanmar

68

Bangladesh

86

Pakistan

106

Global Hunger Index:

  • It is a tool designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger at global, regional, and national levels.
  • GHI scores are calculated each year to assess progress and setbacks in combating hunger.
  • It ranks countries based on four key indicators –

a. Undernourishment: Whose caloric intake is insufficient

b. Child mortality: Who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition

c. Child wasting: Who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition

d. Child stunting: The mortality rate of children under the age of five.

Why is Hunger increasing?

1. Hunger is increasing in many countries where economic growth is lagging, particularly in middle income countries.

2. Income inequality is rising in many of the countries where hunger is on the rise, making it more difficult for the poor vulnerable or marginalized to cope with economic slowdown and downturns.

3. Hunger is high in countries that rely heavily on primary commodity trade.

4. It is also largely driven by displacement of the people and climate change.

 Which are the measures to tackle Hunger?

1. UN report calls for structural transformation to include the poorest people in the world.

2. It suggest integrating food security and nutrition concerns into poverty reduction efforts using pro-poor and inclusive transformations.

3. Developing holistic approaches to protracted displacement settings

4. Providing support to food-insecure displaced people in their region.

5. Recognizing resilience of displaced people and it should be the basis for providing support.

Where does India stands in hunger and malnutrition?

1. India produces enough food to feed its population, yet it is home to 25% of the world’s hungry population with about 195 million hungry people.

2. Malnutrition is a socio-economic issue in India with poor more at risk, it is more prevalent in rural areas.

3. One-third of the world’s malnourished children live in India.

a. 21% of children under 5 are underweight,

b. 38.4% of children under 5 are stunted and

c. 40% of children suffer with chronic undernutrition or stunting.

4. The effects of malnutrition are irreversible if they occur in younger age.

5. India doesn’t have problems in terms of food availability but problems in terms of adequate distribution.

6. However the number of undernourished people has almost come down by half in past 20 years due to rapid economic growth and increased agriculture productivity.

How government aims to tackle the issue?

1. The National Nutrition strategy of 2017 aims to achieve “Zero hunger by 2022”

Schemes

Features

National Food Security Act

1. It covers 75% rural, 50% urban population.

2. It offers 5 kg of cereals per person per month at minimal prices at highly subsidised prices.

3. It also provides nutritional support to women and children and maternity benefits.

Antyodaya Anna Yojana

It provides 35 kgs of cereals to every BPL family per month.

Mid-day meal scheme

Under this scheme lakhs of children are served freshly cooked meals in government and government aided schools.

Public Distribution System

It aims at ensuring food security by providing food and non-food essential items at subsidised rates.

Who has roles in tackling global hunger?

1. UN calls for a holistic approach to food security to fulfil the UN Zero Hunger challenge.

The Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger by 2030

1. It seeks zero stunted children in less than two years

2. 100% access to adequate food all year round

3. Sustainable food systems

4. Zero loss or waste of food.

SDG-2: Sub Goals

1. It requires comprehensive efforts to ensure everyone enjoy their right to adequate food, women are empowered, and priority is given to family farming.

2. It includes leaving no one behind, ensuring human rights and coherent policies with coordination action.

3. Inclusive multi-stakeholder stewardship at all levels and transformational implementation.

4. Investment in sustainable production, consumption including sustainable food and nutrition system.

5. Women as mothers, farmers as entrepreneurs, reshaping agriculture system in the face of climate change.

6. Sustainable agriculture promotes the use of fields, forests, oceans and all-natural resources essential for food production without damaging the environment.

Role of Government

1. It must monitor markets so that prices are fair for all farmers.

2. Need to keep large corporations in check so that they respect and protect rights of local people.

3. Promote healthy eating habits, invest in research and focus on developing rural areas.

Role of Farmers

1. 90% of farms in the world are family owned, producing food for family and community.

2. These farms can play a huge role in eradicating hunger by coming together as cooperatives, improve access to resources and maximise profits.

3. They can also adapt to climate change, develop common strategies for sustainable cultivation.

Role of Private Sector

1. Fight against hunger needs innovation from private sector including companies working in agriculture and services related to it.

2. Companies in the Financial sector can give poorer farmers access to funds.

3. MNCs can use large areas of land responsibly and ensure that locals are not pushed away.

Role of Society

1. Quarter of food wasted each day is enough to feed all the hungry people in the world.

2. Consumers must buy and eat only what is necessary and Say NO to plastic packing.

3. Droughts are becoming common even in regions with plenty of water.

4. It is important to save water in whatever ways such as fixing leaks, using rain or grey water for gardens etc.

5. Shop from local farmers to support local economy and shorten the journey between food and produce.

Source: RSTV