New Delhi: World Food Day is annually observed on October 16 to promote awareness and action for the future of food, people, and the planet. This year, the focus has been driven towards the critical role of water, a necessity for beating food insecurity, with the theme – ‘Water is Life, Water is Food. Leave No One Behind’. Ahead of World Food Day, UN Secretary-General António Guterres conveyed the pressing concern of the global food crisis. He said,
World Food Day 2023 comes during a global food crisis, with the world moving backwards on ending hunger and malnutrition.
Mr Guterres informed that about 780 million people are experiencing hunger and are victims of food insecurity, and almost 50 million children are at risk of severe wasting. Talking about the status of humanitarian funds, he said that the funding for this year’s global humanitarian appeal stands at 32 per cent, which showcases a significant shortfall.
According to the Global Humanitarian Overview (GHO) 2023, the funds required to mitigate food insecurity stand at USD 55.5 billion, which will assist 248 million of the 363 million people in need. So far, USD 17.9 billion has been collected as of September 2023, which represents 32 per cent of the total funding required this year. This amount is less than what was recorded at the end of September 2022, both in absolute terms (USD18.6 billion) and coverage (37 per cent).
He highlighted the underlying causes of the global food crisis, which include conflicts, climate extremes, inequality, and economic instability.
The chief also noted the reduction in several aid programmes by the World Food Programme and expressed concern over lives lost to hunger every few seconds despite ample resources.
In 2015, the world set a goal to achieve zero hunger by 2030; however, eight years later, hunger has surged, necessitating immediate action primarily from national governments.
Highlighting the global food crisis, Mr Guterres called upon the governments, private sector players, civil society and academia to come together and work towards achieving the goal of ‘Zero Hunger’ by reaching out to the vulnerable communities of the world.
Here are the recommendations by UN Secretary General to address the global food crisis:
- The governments must hold responsibility to make sure their people have enough to eat, he said. For the countries facing resource constraints, there is a need for international solidarity.
- Increase investments in resilient agriculture and align them with climate action.
- Increase science and technology to improve the efficiency and reach of food systems.
- To end hunger, achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and preserve water for future generations, the UN Secretary General called upon sustainable management of water for agriculture and food production.
The UN Secretary-General further said,
Zero hunger is achievable. We all need to come together to bring this crisis to the top of the global agenda and to invest in long-term solutions that provide everyone with enough to eat.
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 – theLGBTQ 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 currentCOVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water,SanitationandHygiene) 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, fightmalnutrition, 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 likeair pollution,waste management,plastic ban,manual scavengingand sanitation workers andmenstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India wheretoiletsare used andopen defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched byPrime Minister Narendra Modiin 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.