I would like to remind you that I had successfully achieved the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of ensuring zero hunger by 2030. This goal focuses on the concept that everybody has the right to food which is supposed to be protected under international law (Ramanujam). Back in 2018, I noticed that world hunger was still a major issue as it was considered the number one public health risk globally (McColl). In fact, 795 million people were suffering from hunger in 2015 (McColl). Clearly, not enough effort had been put into providing that right to all human beings. In order to solve this worldwide issue, I worked on increasing access to food in war-prone areas, increasing agricultural productivity for small farmers, eradicating child malnutrition, and adapting to climate change and natural disasters (“Goal 2: Zero Hunger”).
Increasing Access to Food in War-Prone Areas A leading cause of world hunger was due to warfare at the national and international level. In 2010, it was observed that at least half the population that lived in war-prone nations were food-insecure (Samberg). Even worse, “more than three-quarters of the world’s chronically malnourished children live in conflict-affected regions” (Samberg). There were several factors that played a role in increasing food insecurity in war-prone areas. War is more than just the direct killing of people with weaponry. It also kills people indirectly by removing them from the land that they are accustomed to growing crops and raising livestock in. In fact, those crops and livestock become demolished, meaning seeds are difficult to acquire.
These people are then displaced to an area where there may not be fertile land to grow food. Wars also “restrict their [people’s] access to water and forage and disrupt planting or harvest cycles” (Samberg). Hunger continues to increase as access to food becomes difficult, especially when “roads are destroyed, and refrigeration systems aren’t functioning” (McColl). What I did to help revitalize food security in war-prone areas was to introduce farmers to social networks in both traditional and innovative manners. I organized a program for displaced farmers where I sent social workers to teach them how to use their mobile phones in order to obtain information about weather and market prices (Samberg).
This led these farmers to collaborate with producers and buyers while acquiring aid for agricultural extension and veterinary services (Samberg). It is vital to grasp onto different kinds of social networks in order to aid victimized communities who suffered from war. Aside from business and agricultural communication, I also collaborated with the World Food Programme by providing more vouchers for food in lieu of commodities. These vouchers are similar to credit cards in a way that they allow people to select their own food (McColl).
This method was proven to be successful for Syrian refugees in Jordan before my efforts to end world hunger (McColl); therefore, I applied the same concept in other war-torn localities. Increasing Agricultural Productivity for Small Farmers Agriculture has had great development, but the rate of advancement was unable to keep pace with the alarming growth of population projected for 2030 which was 8.5 billion (“World Population Aspects”).
In the developed countries, crop production and other agricultural sectors had tremendously augmented production capacity whereas, in underdeveloped and developing countries poverty and hunger had been chronic to society. Small farmers, fishers, small food-producers and indigenous people lacked resources like equal access to land, sowing and harvesting equipment, fertilizers, good quality and high yielding seeds, effective pesticides to control pre-harvest and post-harvest diseases, proper storage facilities, hybrid cattle for more milk and meat, basic knowledge of financial services and market opportunities, leading to un-meetable food supply. Being an advocate to support small-scale farmers, I have liaised with many of the UNDP’s (United Nations Development Program), FAO’s (Food and Agricultural Organization), and NGO’s development programs for the last 8 years.
Investments in the development of rural infrastructures like roads, irrigation system, food processing and food storage systems facilitated small farmers and rural entrepreneurs to bring about 360-degree transformation to the communities. The outcome was a tremendous success with increased agricultural production leading to improved affordability, in other words, eliminating poverty and hunger (McColl). Ending Child Malnutrition World hunger is also a significant cause of child malnutrition and stunting. A Global Nutrition Report from 2016 indicated that “out of 667 million children under the age of five worldwide, 159 million are stunted (too short for their age) and 50 million are wasted (do not weigh enough for their height)” (Ramanujam).
This is devastating to people in poor countries as it results in the decrease of human potential and economic productivity (“WORLD LEADERS”). Without the effort to end this, childhood stunting and wasting could “cause permanent cognitive damage and create rippling health issues and socio-economic consequences for generations” (Ramanujam). As a member of The Alliance to End Hunger, I helped in brokering partnerships between those who make efforts to benefit those who are hungry by teaming up with multiple organizations, non-profit groups, universities, and individuals (“WORLD LEADERS”).
I have also been involved in the CARE program by helping to increase the supply for care packages containing food and necessities. Being a member of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), I worked with public-private partnerships in order to provide more access to nutrients that are essential for reducing child malnutrition (“WORLD LEADERS”). Adapting to Climate Change and Natural Disasters Climate change in the globe has been a major factor impacting farmlands through drought, floods, frost, top soil-erosion, salination and deforestations. Increased population and further deforestation injured our farmlands as it expedited soil erosions. Climate-related disasters were also factored in for poverty and hunger because poor people are disproportionately affected (McColl).
Being an active member of 350.org, I participated in innumerable climate related movements throughout the world to force UN to implement strict rules to restrict CO2 emission in the atmosphere (“About 350.Org”). The 350.org simply represents the safe concentration of 350 ppm (parts per million) CO2 in air, any amount over 350 ppm will induce global warming due to Green-House-Effect. Outcome Previous to my involvement of achieving this SDG, the population of undernourished people worldwide dropped from 930 million to 795 million between the years 2000 and 2016. At the same time, the population of undernourished in developing countries dropped from 908 million to 780 million (“Goal 2: End Hunger”). Had my intervention and efforts with multiple organizations and aid programs not been done, the goal of reaching zero hunger would have been impossible to achieve. It has been twenty-three years since I had witnessed anyone suffering from hunger and famine. I once thought that achieving zero hunger was impossible, but I never stopped giving up.
Remember when we worked together to reduce rates of childhood obesity in Palau? We made it possible because of its small population. Smaller populations are easier to manipulate. The same concept is applied to this situation. If we continue to make efforts to reduce world hunger, then the goal for zero hunger will be possible to achieve. I told myself that these efforts will only decrease the proportion of hungry people, meaning it will only get easier from there. The Palau research project was a key motivator in helping me achieve this goal of zero hunger. I could not have accomplished this dream without the help of those who have also made similar efforts and helped me achieve my honor.
- “About 350.Org.” 350.Org, www.350.org/about/.
- “Goal 2: End Hunger, Achieve Food Security and Improved Nutrition and Promote Sustainable Agriculture – SDG Indicators.” United Nations, United Nations, www.unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/2016/goal-02/.
- “Goal 2: Zero Hunger – United Nations Sustainable Development.” United Nations, United Nations, www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/hunger/.
- McColl, Sarah. “Here’s How We Can End Global Hunger in 15 Years.” TakePart, 7 Aug. 2015, www.takepart.com/article/2015/08/07/ending-global-hunger.
- Ramanujam, Nandini, and Sarah Richardson. “Ending Child Malnutrition Under SDG 2: The Moral Imperative for Global Solidarity and Local Action.” Social Alternatives, vol. 37, no. 1, 2018, pp. 18–24.
- Samberg, Leah. “World Hunger Is Increasing Thanks to Wars and Climate Change.” The Conversation, The Conversation, 19 Sept. 2018, www.theconversation.com/world-hunger-is-increasing-thanks-to-wars-and-climate-change-84506.
- “WORLD LEADERS CONVENE TO ADDRESS GLOBAL CRISIS OF CHILD MALNUTRITION G-8 LEADERS URGED TO END CHILD MALNUTRITION IN ORDER TO STIMULATE LONG-TERM ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND GREATER PROGRESS AGAINST HUNGER AND POVERTY.” States News Service, 2012, pp. States News Service, May 17, 2012.
- “World Population Aspects.” United Nations, United Nations, www.esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/Publications/Files/WPP2017_KeyFindings.pdf.