Posted Tuesday June 30, 2020

Food Security

New UN report calls on governments to urgently address food insecurity

A new report from the UN Committee on World Food Security’s High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) has identified actions that governments can take to move their countries closer to the goal of eliminating hunger by 2030.

University of Waterloo professor Jennifer Clapp (right), an expert in food security and sustainable food systems, lead the project team responsible for the report.

“We need to radically transform food systems, to realize the right to food and ensure food security and nutrition for all, especially in light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Clapp. “I am honoured to have had the opportunity to oversee this important work and I look forward to continuing my involvement with HLPE as we encourage the implementation of the findings of this report.”

The report recommendations are:

• Support a radical transformation of food systems from production to consumption, including measures that empower the most vulnerable and marginalized food system actors; promote regenerative production practices, such as agroecology; and support the development of diverse distribution networks, such as territorial markets.

• Take into account the interconnectedness of different systems and sectors, including measures that improve coordination across sectors – such as the economy, health, environment, agriculture and food – and take interaction of food systems with other systems into account; explicitly address climate change across all aspects of food systems; and learn from crises, such as COVID-19, to build more resilient food systems.

• Address hunger and all forms of malnutrition, including through measures that support healthy, nutritious and sustainable food choices; and address all forms of malnutrition, including hunger, obesity and overweight, and micronutrient deficiencies.

• Develop context-specific solutions, taking local conditions and knowledge into account, including measures that tackle the distinct challenges that arise in diverse types of rural and urban contexts; and address the unique challenges posed by conflict situations.

“The policy shifts proposed in this report will make the radical transformation of food systems possible and will get the global community closer to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG 2 – eliminating world hunger and malnutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture”, said Clapp. “The report also outlines a set of concrete recommendations necessary to make these policy shifts possible. The bottom line is that this radical transformation of food systems is urgently needed in order to eradicate hunger and all forms of malnutrition as a fundamental part of achieving all SDGs.”

The full HLPE, Food Security and Nutrition: Building a Global Narrative towards 2030, was formally launched on June 25, 2020 and can be found here.

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