Where would we be without food?
That is one of several questions the world will be pondering tomorrow in recognition of World Food Day.
For certain, we wouldn’t be anywhere for very long without food, because we need food to live. Therefore, food must be regarded as a basic human right, not a privilege. Yet despite this understanding, one in nine people globally experience chronic hunger. How is this possible?
As far back as 1945 the United Nations recognized food as not a privilege, but a right, hence the creation of World Food Day, yet, 77 years later, the same United Nations is still drawing the world’s attention to the plight of the millions upon millions of people in hunger.
What was the purpose in shining a light on world hunger in 1945, when 77 years later that hunger has become more chronic?
Can we end world hunger?
This question has been asked many times throughout the years and the answer has always been the same: Yes, we can end world hunger. Then why is hunger still in existence today?
After 77 years of fighting world hunger at the highest level, the world is no where near ending hunger, a sad reality which forced 193 countries, in 2015 to sign an agreement committing to end all forms of malnutrition by 2030, eight years from now.
The observance of World Food Day started in 1979, however, sadly, 43 years this year and counting, malnutrition is still exists in the world today. Considering this, do we really believe malnutrition and hunger will end eight years from now?
Ending world hunger in 2030 happens to be goal number two of the United Nations Division for Sustainable Development Goals. It states thus: “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.”
What is most astonishing about this is that since adoption of this goal in 2015, the UN, last year, reported that “hunger is on the rise for the third consecutive year and little progress is being made in countering overweight and obesity among children under the age of 5.”
What have governments the world over been doing all these years to fight hunger in their respective countries and regions, and why is the United Nations, this world body, still fighting to control world hunger, today?
Reasons have been given for this situation with the United Nations citing global conflict as a major reason for the lack of progress. According to Secretary General António Guterres of the United Nations “A renewed commitment to multilateralism, to prevention and to diplomacy is essential.”
How is that achievable has not been disclosed. How will the second sustainable development goal of the United Nations be achieved, or any sustainable goal for that matter, when the world’s richest countries care not for these goals but for multiplying their wealth at the expense of the poorer nations and stocking their armouries with improved weapons of mass destruction?
It’s on record that more than 820 million people in the world today suffer from chronic hunger, further, that the world can afford to feed every person on the planet. If so be the case, why is it that hunger still persists? Clearly something is not right, and the United Nations is the best world body to deal with this matter.
We recognise that the hunger problem in the world today is due to several factors, the lack of access to nutritious foods being one of these factors. At the same time, we do realise that a world without hunger will never be achieved without collective action and commitment from people everywhere. That is key, hence we encourage the United Nations to not just talk the talk but move with force to get the richer countries to renew their commitment to ending world hunger. After all, and according to world reports, enough food is produced to feed the global population yet as many as 828 million people still go hungry. This should not be, especially the growth of undernourished people which grew by 150 million from 2019 to 2022.