Washington: The Covid-19 pandemic, its resultant interruption in international supply chains, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine severely disrupting food, fuel and fertilizer markets, countries across the world now need to strengthen safety nets, facilitate trade, boost food production, and invest in resilient agriculture to avert any food security crisis. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director General Qu Dongyu, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, World Bank Group (WBG) President David Malpass, World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director David Beasley, and World Trade Organization (WTO) Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala issued a joint statement calling for urgent action to address the global food security crisis.
Citing World Food Programme data, the joint statement said the number of acute food insecure people increased to 345 million in 82 countries.
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Making matters worse, around 25 countries have reacted to higher food prices by adopting export restrictions affecting over 8 percent of global food trade, it said.
Many nations, including India, have put some sort of trade restrictions on some essential commodities keeping in mind their own domestic food security.
In order to avoid further setbacks in achieving the sustainable development goals, the joint statement laid down short and long-term actions in four key areas such as providing immediate support to the vulnerable, facilitating trade and international supply of food, boosting production, and investing in climate-resilient agriculture.
In the short term, releasing food stocks, as appropriate and consistent with WTO rules, and finding a diplomatic solution to evacuate the grains and fertilizers currently blocked in Ukraine, will help address the availability and affordability of food supplies, it said.
Further, actions must be taken to encourage farmers and fishers to boost sustainable food production both in developing and developed countries and improve the supply chains to meet the global demand.
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NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.