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Sansad TV: The Global Debate- Global Food Crisis

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Introduction:

Hunger levels around the world are at a new high. Around 49 million people in 43 countries are facing emergency levels of hunger. The number of severely food insecure people has doubled in just two years – from 135 million pre-pandemic to 276 million today.

Importance of Food Security for a Nation:

  • For boosting the agricultural sector.
  • For having a control on food prices.
  • For economic growth and job creation leading to poverty reduction
  • For trade opportunities
  • For increased global security and stability
  • For improved health and healthcare

Global Report on Food Crises 2022 

  • It was recently released by the Global Network Against Food Crises (GNAFC).
  • The report is the flagship publication of the GNAFCand is facilitated by the Food Security Information Network (FSIN).
  • Some 40 million more people globally experienced acute food insecurity at crisis or worse levels in 2021 than 2020.
  • Over half a million Ethiopians, southern Madagascar, South Sudanese and Yemenese are suffering from acute food insecurity.
  • Over 193 million people in 53 countries or territories experienced acute food insecurity at crisis or worse levels in 2021.

India’s outreach:

  • The title invokesthe concept of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, ‘Earth is One Family’, from India’s traditional philosophical outlook that has gained huge relevance over the past 75 years since being cited in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to underline the collective nature of the crises and a matching response that is needed.
  • At the core of the concept is ‘ Vasudha’, which means the planet earth, and describes how different nations form one collective and cannot escape the common connection of concern and humanity.
  • In his 2014 UN General Assembly address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “India’s traditional outlook sees the world as one family and that is linked to its Vedic tradition of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” — underlining its relevance not just for global peace, cooperation, environment protection but also for humanitarian response including rising global hunger and leaving no one behind.

Solutions:

  • Investing in Development: As per the UN, it requires just $300 million — just 0.1 per cent of the overseas development aid spent in a year.  To put that figure into perspective, 62 new food billionaires have been created in the past two years.
  • Stabilize the global market: We must stabilize global markets, reduce volatility and tackle the uncertainty of commodity prices. We must restore fertilizer availability, especially for smallholder farmers now.
  • Food is a fundamental human right: We must alleviate immediate suffering through humanitarian assistance and by investing in social protection systems.  Invest in a long-term vision of a food systems transformation, (committed last year at the United Nations Food Systems Summit)
  • Country-specific responses: In Yemen, for example, the focus is on identifying key inefficiencies in the political economy of the food system. In Haiti, the emphasis is on diversification of the economy, improved livelihoods for women and youth, and strategic partnerships for agriculture and fisheries.
  • FAO solution: The international community calls for a shift towards better prevention, anticipation, and targeting to address the root causes of food crises