16th of October is celebrated the world over as the World Food Day, a day specially dedicated to creating awareness about hunger, food insecurity, poor nutrition and inspiring action to address them.
This year’s theme is “Our Actions are Our Future. A Zero-Hunger World by 2030 is Possible”.
In line with the second Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), this yearly global event affords us the opportunity to critically examine the state of food and nutrition in the world, to celebrate the progress made in achieving food security and to renew our commitment to end hunger.
According to a report by FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP and WHO (‘State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2018’), some 821 million people are food-insecure and more than 150 million children stunted. Adult obesity is worsening and more than one in eight adults – 672 million – are obese. Undernutrition and obesity coexist in many countries.
The hunger situation is worrying and requires urgent actions to speed up investments in agriculture, improve production and productivity, improve food distribution systems and provide social protection to the most vulnerable in order to strengthen resilience of people’s livelihoods.
The recent report on the food security and nutrition cites the main driver of insecurity as climate variability and extremes. This is worsened by conflict and economic slowdown.
It is possible for Africa to achieve zero hunger by 2030 but it requires sustained action at individual, community, national and global levels. The target year is less than 12 years away, and so we do not really have time, but it is possible if we bear in mind that it is our joint actions that will determine the outcome.