By Tomi Jaiyeola, Humanitas Global
Eradicating hunger and ensuring food security is the first Millennium Development Goal and many concerted efforts are being made to ensure that countries meet the anti-hunger targets for 2015 and beyond. One of the post-2015 efforts is the Zero Hunger Challenge initiative that was launched in June 2012.
The challenge entails five elements:
- Zero stunted children less than 2 years
- 100% access to adequate food all year round
- All food systems are sustainable
- 100% increase in smallholder productivity and income
- Zero loss or waste of food
Participants of the challenge include about 29 non UN-system organizations, 16 UN-system organizations and 4 UN departments that are all actively contributing to the elements of the challenge.
In celebrating two years of the UN Zero Hunger Challenge, we are looking back at the progress that has been made so far:
- Last year, in partnership with leaders from across the food and nutrition security world, our organization launched the Community for Zero Hunger, an independent initiative to deliver a specific, community-led response to support the UN Zero Hunger Challenge.
- At the end of 2013, a three-year project to tackle the problem of food losses in developing countries began with pilot programs in Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Uganda.
- At the beginning of this year, global leaders in business and civil society signed on to the Zero Hunger Challenge in Davos, Switzerland.
- Timor-Leste, Asia-Pacific’s youngest country became the first in the region to launch UN’s Zero Hunger Challenge.
- The Zero Hunger Initiative was launched in West Africa, a region that has approximately 34.5 million undernourished people.
- The International Fertilizer Industry Association joined the challenge and is participating by providing the essential macro- and micro-nutrients for crop growth; fertilizers are an essential ingredient in the drive towards world food security.
- Over the last two years, the FAO has recognized about 43 countries that have made outstanding progress in the fight against hunger by reaching the target to halve the proportion of hungry people.
- The Republic of Korea – home country of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon – has joined the Zero Hunger Challenge.
- Last year, the FAO partnered with the National Geographic on an eight month “Future of Food” series to highlight issues of food security and agriculture.
- The UN-led initiative Think.Eat.Save launched a new first-of-its-kind toolkit to reduce food and drink waste. It is a Guidance that provides clear and comprehensive steps for governments, businesses and other organizations to develop strategies, programs and activities to prevent and reduce food and drink waste. The objective of sharing these proven methodologies for preventing food waste is to catalyze action around the world.
- The Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) is going to be held in November 2014, in Rome: “better nutrition better lives.” It will review the progress made towards improving nutrition, reflect on nutrition problems that remain, as well the new challenges and opportunities for improving nutrition.
- Next year, there will be the EXPO MILANO 2015. The theme is, “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life,” which is at the core of the founding principles to combat hunger and poverty. The theme will touch on food security and nutrition, sustainability, poverty reduction, development and cooperation. These conferences are to spur on more action to address urgent challenges, and achieve the goal of a world with zero hunger.
While some progress is being made, there is still a long way to go. Please join in the challenge to achieve a world with Zero Hunger. Here’s to another year!