Mr. Guterres warned at the UN Food Systems Summit Pre-Summit in Rome on Monday that up to 811 million people will be hungry in 2020, up from 161 million in 2019.
The UN head stated that three billion people cannot afford to eat healthily, citing the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres has warned that inefficient global food production is to blame for a massive increase in hunger, as well as one-third of all emissions and 80% of biodiversity loss, in an appeal to all countries to overhaul food systems to accelerate sustainable development.
At this week’s Pre-Summit, UN Deputy-Secretary-General Amina Mohammed echoed those worries and urged action, insisting that confronting increasing hunger and poor nutrition were problems that the international community should rise to, “as we have the means to do it”.
Ms. Mohammed praised the fact that 145 countries had already begun national dialogues to determine how sustainable food systems should be designed by 2030, citing regular online meetings, public forums, and surveys with youth, farmers, indigenous peoples, civil society, researchers, the private sector, policymakers, and ministers of agriculture, environment, health, nutrition, and finance.
These discussions will assist to shape suggested actions structured around the Summit’s five action tracks to revolutionize food production and exploit the far-reaching importance of food systems to help achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Deputy UN Secretary-General highlighted that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. As a result, we must work country by country, region by region, and community by community to guarantee that the diverse demands of each reality are met. The same can be said about our food systems and the necessary modifications to feed the globe while not depriving the earth of its future.
The Pre-Summit, which will be held in a hybrid format, will bring together delegates from over 100 countries to launch a set of new pledges through coalitions of action, as well as generate new finance and partnerships.
Ms. Mohammed emphasized how the epidemic had stymied attempts toward long-term development, citing UN estimates that over 100 million people have been forced into poverty since the global health crisis began.
However, she claimed that the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) gathering in Rome this week had the potential to “drive progress” on implementing the 2030 Agenda by agreeing on positions on sustainable solutions, ahead of the Leaders’ UN Food Systems Summit in New York in September.
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