In focus: Global food security
This June, explore the various UN reports and campaigns dedicated to tackling hunger and strengthening food security.
UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
For 870 million people worldwide, hunger and lack of food security is an everyday problem that affects the health of women and children and the overall security of communities across the world.
Food waste is also an issue linked to food security and affects the ability of our planet to sustainably feed a continuously growing population. This June, the United Nations and partners are involved in various efforts to raise awareness about food security and the ways our world can reach 'Zero Hunger' and promote sustainable consumption and production. Get involved and learn how you can reduce your food-print!
The United Nations Secretary-General gives top priority to the elimination of hunger. Why? Tackling hunger can greatly contribute to global peace, security, and the elimination of poverty. To help boost action on reducing hunger, the Secretary-General created the Zero Hunger Challenge, which celebrates its first anniversary 21 June. The UN Secretary-General encourages all partners to scale up their efforts and turn the vision of an end to hunger into a reality. What does this mean?
To follow updates o the Challenge and to learn how you can participate, visit the ZHC website.
The Food and Agriculture Organization announced that 38 countries have met internationally-established targets in the fight against hunger. Twenty countries have satisfied Millennium Development Goal (MDG) number one, to halve the proportion of hungry people. An additional 18 countries were congratulated for reaching both MDG 1 and the more stringent World Food Summit (WFS) goal, having reduced by half the absolute number of undernourished people between 1990-92 and 2010-2012.
"These countries are leading the way to a better future. They are proof that with strong political will, coordination and cooperation, it is possible to achieve rapid and lasting reductions in hunger," FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and world leaders joined forces to support the "Global Nutrition for Growth" compact, making concrete commitments to improve world nutrition. According to the document, "Addressing nutrition is of critical importance for achieving the MDGs, in particular the MDGs related to hunger, child and maternal health, and education." Donors secured new commitments of up to $4.15 billion to tackle under-nutrition up to 2020. Watch the Secretary-General's video message for the event, here.
World Environment Day
Senior United Nations officials urged everyone to play their part in decreasing food loss and waste for World Environment Day (WED), celebrated 5 June. "We live in a world of plenty, where food production outstrips demand, yet 870 million people are undernourished and childhood stunting is a silent pandemic. To create the future we want, we must correct this inequity," the Secretary-General said in his message for the Day.
Think. Eat. Save
All have role to play in reducing 1.3 billion tonnes of food wasted or lost each year. To help reduce food waste, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and public and private sector partners launched the "Think.Eat.Save: Reduce Your Foodprint" campaign to raise global awareness and showcase everyday solutions that everyone can practice. What are some actions you can take to reduce your food print?
The role of smallholder farmers
A new report by UN Environment Programme (UNEP) smallholders manage over 80 per cent of the world's estimated 500 million small farms and provide over 80 per cent of the food consumed in a large part of the developing world, contributing significantly to poverty reduction and food security. The new report highlights how investment in smallholder farmers can play a greater role in food security and can help lift over one billion people out of poverty.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released a new report entitled, The State of Food and Agriculture 2013: food systems for better nutrition. New findings indicate that 868 million people are undernourished in terms of energy intake. According to the study, "The traditional role of agriculture in producing food and generating income is fundamental, but agriculture and the entire food system – from inputs and production, through processing, storage, transport and retailing, to consumption – can contribute much more to the eradication of malnutrition."