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Here’s How We Can End Global Hunger in 15 Years

Posted by on August 8, 2015 in Agencies & Systems, Government with 2 Comments

Sarah McColl | TakePart

hands offering rice

The new goals proposed by the U.N. could easily be achieved.

Last night, 795 million people went to sleep hungry. That’s a larger number than the populations of the U.S. and Europe combined, and the effects of not having enough foo makes hunger (and malnutrition) the No. 1 public health risk worldwide—greater than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined.

In 2000, presidents and prime ministers of the United Nations countries set a goal to cut hunger in half by 2015. We came close but didn’t quite hit the target: Worldwide, 10.9 percent of people are undernourished, down from 18.6 percent in 1990–92, the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization recently reported. Despite falling short, the 193 member states agreed this week to charge forward with an even bigger goal: ending poverty and hunger by 2030. The goal is part of the new post-2015 sustainable development goals that will be considered at the U.N. General Assembly in September.

It may sound like a beauty pageant wish, but it is an entirely achievable goal. Some paths to end hunger are relatively straight, a matter of increased production and ecosystem maintenance; others are more systemic, such as solving ongoing conflict and reshaping cultural ideas regarding gender roles. But with international cooperation and a departure from “business as usual,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva think achieving the goal is possible.

What would it take? Simply put, $160 per year for each person living in extreme poverty. That’s a really nice dinner for two in Brooklyn and less than an August air-conditioning bill.

At the presentation of a report on hunger in July, Graziano da Silva said the total investment would total $267 billion per year over the next 15 years. “Given that this is more or less equivalent to 0.3 percent of the global GDP, I personally think it is a relatively small price to pay to end hunger,” he said.

Humanitarians and research institutions are optimistic too. “We can change these things when we all agree to the same goals,” said Lyric Thompson, senior policy manager at theInternational Center for Research on Women. “The important thing is that we need to carry that work through.” Here’s what needs to be done.

Double Agricultural Production of Small Farmers

If women farmers had the same access to resources as men, the number of hungry people in the world could be reduced by 150 million, according to the FAO. As a result, one of the sustainable developmental goals for the next 15 years specifically addresses granting small-scale food producers—particularly women, indigenous people, and family farmers—secure and equal access to land; resources like seeds, tools, and pesticides; credit; and markets.

It’s why groups like Landesa and Women’s Land Link Africa are advocating for women’s land tenure rights and agricultural tech companies such as Hello Tractor are developing gender-blind mobile apps that could increase yields up to 200 percent. Even simple methods that increase production, such as sack farming, seem promising.

“There’s not a high cost to get started [in sack farming]; you’re not waiting on someone to give you seed funding. You could grab a sack and do that tomorrow,” said Regina Pritchett of the Huairou Commission, a nonprofit that works on housing and community issues for women across Africa.

Increase Access (and Peace)

Right now, the World Food Programme is on the ground providing assistance in six different emergency situations around the globe. WFP aid has been a vital resource following natural disasters like foods, earthquakes, and droughts, as well as disease outbreaks, but the demographic of need is shifting.


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  1.' Learning The Truth says:

    Follow Us to Learn The Hidden Truth !

  2.' Barbara Larkin says:

    What concerns me is the word( pesticides ) being used, the UN have allowed are allowing geoengineering to continue , and what vested interest does Monsanto have in provideing so called lack of food? Which the UN are condoning ? Not to mention that another way to reduce famine /poverty is to reduce populations, by highly toxic means ,vaccines/ creating drought or deluge, of course the goals can be achieved easily, I just doubt your integrity?

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