Twenty years after the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, world leaders, the private sector, NGOs and other organisations met in June at Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, to map out how we can reduce hunger and poverty, and create growth that is “green”, people-based, fair and that also protects our ever more crowded planet.
Zero Hunger Challenge
"Food and nutrition are among my top priorities," says UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who issued his Zero Hunger Challenge at the Rio+20 Conference.
WFP believes there can be no sustainable development unless concerted efforts are made to address hunger and malnutrition and reach those on the side-lines of mainstream development. Close to one billion people suffer from hunger, and more than twice as many from hidden hunger, malnourishment and food insecurity.
Any “green economy” must also address the needs of the most vulnerable. They need greater access to nutritious food along with more sustainable natural resource management practices, so they can take up opportunities to escape the poverty trap.
Creating a better future for these people will require food and nutrition safety nets – such as work schemes, asset creation and resilience building programmes, health and nutrition interventions, and school feeding programmes. Innovative risk transfer systems can help ensure vulnerable farmers, families and communities to protect lives, livelihoods and human capital during crises.
Many of the world’s hungry people live in fragile and marginal environments, and bear the brunt of climate change so we need integrated approaches that reduce hunger while building the resilience of families, communities and ecosystems.
Building resilience also means a shift from managing disasters to managing risks amid increasing extreme weather and climate patterns, deteriorating ecosystems, growing competition over natural resources, and highly volatile food and energy prices.
Community based disaster risk reduction and management approaches need to be scaled-up urgently to strengthen the resilience of food insecure households communities and countries, as they face the growing challenges of climate change.
Women are the main food producers, processors and traders of food. Investing in the nutrition of rural women and their children, especially in the critical first 1000 days of life, is necessary to ensure the healthy development of children, and to increase their chances to contribute to and benefit from economic growth in their future.