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What can we do about The Hungry Generation?

One in nine people around the world suffer from chronic undernourishment; hunger. That is around 795 million people including a vast amount of children bringing forth the birth of a hungry generation; the world’s greatest shame.

Hunger is the want or scarcity of food in a country, this causes both the malnutrition and under-nutrition. Such poor nutrition causes nearly 45% of deaths in children under five. That is 3.1 million children each year. What is being done about this?

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As part of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Agenda for the year 2030, goal #2: Zero Hunger targets ending hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition, and promoting sustainability in agriculture. If you think about, solving the issue of World Hunger should be easy, because there is enough food in the world to feed everyone. So what’s the problem? Well, according to the World Food Program: Knowledge, tools and policies, combined with political will, can solve the problem.

In 2014, Latin America’s biggest country was removed from the United Nation’s World Hunger Map. Brazil managed to strategically invest in policies and programs to improve food production and access to health services. There’s a lot to learn from Brazil’s strategies, one in particular is Fome Zero (Zero Hunger), which was introduced by the Brazilian government under President Lula da Silva’s administration in 2003 with the goal to eradicate hunger and extreme poverty in Brazil. And indeed it was successful, despite the criticism on the management of the project, it managed cut stunting (slow development or growth) in Brazilian children in half.  The Zero Hunger Project proposal was a result of the work and research of NGOs, research institutes, grassroots organizations, social movements and more in order to analyze the status of hunger and poverty in the country in order to develop policies.

The aforementioned group found that in order to ensure food security, changes are required in Brazil’s economic development, as factors like unemployment, lack-of-income generating policies, high interest rates and lack of agricultural policies pile into why hunger is increasing in the nation-state. Therefore the Zero Hunger project took action steps as providing food stamps, free meals served in schools, policies towards cheaper food products, supported family farming etc..

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There is enough food in the world to feed and sustain the hungry generation, the question is, how?

It’s not about the challenges that overcome us but rather how we face them. With World Food Day coming up by the end of this week, the questions posed is how can youth contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal #2: Zero Hunger? How can youth contribute to the development of similar or much enhanced policies as presented in Fome Zero in Brazil?

Share your thoughts.

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