Friday, January 13, 2017

Conflict, Climate Change Big Obstacles to Ending Hunger by 2030

Ending hunger is a moral imperative. It is especially so in fragile situations where the odds are stacked against vulnerable people and the barriers that they face are the highest. If we continue on the current path, it is estimated that by 2030, two-thirds of the people who experience hunger will live in fragile states.  Bread for the World Institutute 2017 Hunger Report
The 2017 Hunger Report published by the Bread for the World Institute in November 2016 offers a good news/bad news scenario. The world has made great strides in reducing overall hunger around the world, thanks in part to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Given this level of progress, it is realistic to dream that the global community can meet the goal of ending hunger by 2030, which is the target in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The report, entitled Fragile Environments, Resilient Communities, lists a few major obstacles that stand in the way of this goal. They include intense conflict in some areas of the world and the impact of climate change, which threatens agricultural production in many areas.

Here are a few quotes from the executive summary of the report:
  • The world has made dramatic progress against hunger and extreme poverty in recent decades. In 1990, approximately one in four people in the world lived with hunger on a daily basis. By 2015, the hunger rate was cut nearly in half and stood at about one in nine. Over the same period, extreme poverty was cut by even more, from one in three people in the world to one in ten.
  • At no other time in human history has progress against hunger and poverty occurred so rapidly. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) provided a framework to mobilize global action against hunger and poverty and other development objectives. The MDGs were not the only reason for this dramatic progress but they made a difference.
  • Recent trends give optimists good reason to believe that ending hunger and poverty is within reach. At the same time, the world faces daunting challenges. Tragedies on an unimaginable scale are occurring in different parts of the world. The wars in Syria and South Sudan and the near famine conditions in places where war and climate change collide are enough to challenge anyone’s optimism about ending hunger and poverty. Conflict is one of the greatest threats to ending hunger. More people die from hunger and disease in conflict zones than from violence.
  • Syria and South Sudan are among a group of nations the international development community often refer to as fragile states. While there is no universal definition of fragility, these are nations where high rates of hunger and poverty are compounded by civil conflict, poor governance, and vulnerability to climate change. Fragile places present the greatest challenge in ending hunger and poverty.
  • The potential for climate change to destabilize countries in some of the most volatile regions of the world is why the U.S. military considers it to be a threat to national security
Read Full Executive Summary
Download Full Report
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