Our Actions are our Future; Taking up the Zero Hunger Challenge

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October 16 is Celebrated as World Food Day
October 16 is Celebrated as World Food Day

Our Actions are our Future. We can relate this quote or motto to different aspects of life. Today it has got a bigger meaning. This is the motto of this year’s Food Day. World Food Day is celebrated on October 16 in honour of the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945.

There is something we say “no” once our needs are met. Yes, it’s Food! The most basic need of a human being. How many of you can imagine life without food? So if you have food, it means you are lucky enough. There is nothing worse than being in hunger. We know that hundreds of millions of people are hungry all over the world. But why does this happen? Where do hunger and malnutrition come from? What is the cause, and how can we fight it?

Looking back at history, hunger has always existed, even today. In 2017, 821 million people suffered from hunger. This is 11 per cent of the world population. More precisely one in nine people on the planet is suffering from hunger today. The reason was almost the same always. Poverty! Poverty is one of the main causes of hunger. If you are poor, you can’t afford nutritious food. This makes it difficult to work and earn a living.

It was in September 2015, all United Nations Member States approved the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture was the second goal of this agenda. That’s nothing but the eradication of hunger and all forms of malnutrition. This goal seeks sustainable solutions to end hunger in all its forms by 2030. Finally, to achieve food security. The aim is to ensure that everyone on this planet has enough food to lead a healthy life.

World hunger is sadly on the rise. Now, After 3 years we are on a stage where global hunger is increasing every year. The number of undernourished people in the world increased in 2017. This is for the third consecutive year. In 2017, at least 1.5 billion people suffered from micronutrient deficiencies that undermine their health and lives.  At the same time, the proportion of adult obesity continues to rise, from 11.7 per cent in 2012 to 13.3 per cent in 2016 (or 672.3 million people). Hunger is mainly concentrated on specific areas such as those ravaged by conflicts, droughts and extreme poverty. While obesity is found everywhere. We have to halt the increasing obesity rates. Otherwise, we may have more obese ones than undernourished people in the world. Moreover, Obesity is a huge risk factor. So we have to take actions for the better future.

The Zero Hunger Challenge Hashtag
The Zero Hunger Challenge Hashtag

ZERO HUNGER is the second of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. This is also supported by all UN organizations. Nations, private companies, and citizens from around the world are working hard to achieve the 17 goals by 2030.  Brazil was the first country to take the challenge in 2003. The government there helped millions of people out of poverty and hunger

 “Achieving Zero Hunger is our shared commitment. Now is the time to work as
partners and build a truly global movement to ensure the Right to Food for all and to
build sustainable agriculture and food systems.”

The Zero Hunger Challenge was launched by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2012 (The quote above was stated by him). The Zero Hunger vision reflects five elements from within the SDGs. These five when together, can end hunger, eliminate all forms of malnutrition, and build inclusive and sustainable food systems. A world free from hunger, malnutrition and rural poverty can be achieved through an integrated approach. The Vision of this challenge looks like this.

Bringing all stakeholders together is considered to be its mission. They communicate to understand and explain the importance of food security &  nutrition. We also have to encourage, engage, accelerate and amplify collective actions. These actions can create food systems that deliver for all people. “Charity begins at home”. The change can be from home itself. There are small steps that all of us can take on a daily basis. We can Re-use leftovers wherever possible. We can Adopt a sustainable diet. These are few. Simply we can say, don’t waste food!  Stopping food wastage is one of the biggest action plans to eradicate world hunger. There are other ingredients we need to make “Zero Hunger”. This includes Food Security, Good Nutrition, Sustainable Agriculture and Poverty Eradication.

Our Earth is capable of feeding us all. Human beings are the ones to distribute food fairly. No one should go empty-handed! Therefore it’s our duty to guarantee access to healthy food for everyone, every day.

We have to also make sure that people will get all the nutrients they need to live well. We also have to encourage responsible, environmentally-friendly eating habits. This will restore the balance between those who eat too much or badly, and those who don’t get enough food.

Use of fields, forests, oceans, and all natural resources essential for food production, without damaging the planet comes under Sustainable development. Sustainable, because food production has to respect the environment, with all the people and animals who live in it or our resources will not last.

And finally Poverty Eradication. Since poverty is often the direct cause of malnutrition, even in countries where food is available in supermarkets. People who can’t afford healthy food, or food in general, tend to get ill more easily. Basically, a healthy lifestyle is the result of social and economic progress!

It’s you and me who stand between the hunger and world. You have another 12 years. If you are ready to change, then the world will definitely change. We can definitely eradicate Hunger. “Whether you’re a business, farmer, government representative or simply someone that’s willing to make a change, you can take action for #ZeroHunger!” The FAO believes so, why don’t we?   Turn our ideas into actions. Because Our Actions are our Future. Happy Food Day!

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