What is hunger?
Hunger is a feeling of discomfort or weakness caused by a lack of food, coupled with the desire to eat.
Eradicating hunger is the second United Nations Sustainable Development Goal. This is because in 2020, 811 million people worldwide were suffering from hunger. This was over 100 million more than in 2019.
In 2020, 2.4 billion people, above 30% of the global population, were suffering from food insecurity. Food insecurity is when people lack regular access to adequate food.
Food insecurity can lead to malnutrition and stunted growth. In 2020, almost a quarter of children under five years old were suffering from stunted growth.
Food insecurity has been increasing since 2014 and has been greatly exacerbated by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine. This is due to disruptions in global food supply chains.
Because of this, countries burdened by high food prices rose from 16% in 2019 to 47% in 2020.
Why is it important?
When people go hungry, it prohibits them from accomplishing other tasks. People going hungry are usually unable to focus on their education, have poor health, and many are affected by gender inequality.
By combating hunger, this allows people to focus on solving other issues, such as obtaining an education, improving the economy, and working on social development.
How can you help?
Individuals can help to combat hunger by supporting a local farmer or local markets. People can also make sustainable food choices by consuming a better diet.
A sustainable diet includes eating more legumes, whole grains, vegetables, fruits and nuts, and less animal-based foods that produce carbon.
People can also vote for government decisions that work towards eradicating hunger, and push businesses to make more hunger-aware decisions.
Proposed Solutions to Hunger
Solving hunger in every nation is a large focus of many humanitarian groups. However, there are certain focus areas that groups are attempting to revolutionize:
1. Agricultural productivity
The United Nations wants to double the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale producers. These producers would be in specific focus groups, such as women, family farmers, pastoralists, and fishers.
To do this, people must have secure land, productive resources and inputs, knowledge, financial services, markets, and opportunities for value addition.
2. Resilient agricultural practice implementation
Resilient agricultural practices are necessary as natural disasters increase, such as droughts and flooding. They increase productivity and production. In addition, they maintain ecosystems and strengthen adaptation to severe weather, leading to improved land and soil quality.
3. Maintaining genetic diversity
As deforestation and endangered species increase, it is critical to preserve seeds and representations of domesticated animals. Seed and plant banks preserve different species to conserve genetic diversity on a national and international level.
This also helps to promote fair access to genetic resources. By allowing international cooperation on genetic resource utilization, this increases research and knowledge to determine which adaptations species require to survive in a changing world.
4. Increase investment
This includes increasing investment in international cooperation, rural infrastructure, agricultural research, extension services, technology development, and gene banks. By doing this, humans can increase the capacity of agricultural production in developing countries.
5. Correct and prevent trade restrictions in agricultural markets
By reducing or eliminating export subsidies, this would allow transportation of food to be easier to distribute in other nations. This helps to benefit reduced food costs.
6. Adopt measures for proper function of food commodity markets
This would provide timely access to market information and food reserves to limit extreme food price volatility.