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Malnutrition is up and the huge number of people suffering from chronic hunger has remained virtually the same as last year. That’s according to new Food and Agriculture Organization findings, as presented at the 43rd annual session of the Committee on World Food Security in Rome this week, which Oxfam is deeply concerned about.
Thierry Kesteloot, Oxfam’s food security expert, said:
"Progress against ending worldwide hunger is starting to flat-line, and could even backslide if world leaders ease up their efforts. With malnutrition up and 793 million people suffering from chronic hunger, business as usual won't be enough to reach the goal of ending hunger by 2030.
“We’re also concerned by the FAO’s warning that little progress has been made in combating hunger in Sub-Saharan Africa and Western Asia. The report also underscores what Oxfam has been saying about women and girls being the hardest hit by hunger.”
Ending poverty, combating climate change, and tackling inequality are all essential to ending hunger, according to the FAO report, which Oxfam agrees with.
“Lack of food is not the problem - we have the capacity to feed everyone in the world. To do so, though, we have to urgently rebalance our broken food system and empower the people who grow what we eat but go hungry themselves,” said Kesteloot.
Oxfam is glad the CFS is discussing how the food system should adapt to climate change at their meetings this week, but also calls on the committee to:
- Take the lead in guiding member countries to meet the Sustainable Development Goals to end hunger by 2030 and to combat climate change.
- Adopt a comprehensive monitoring system to track which countries are serious about defending the right to food and hold those that aren’t to account.
- Address the inequality of power in food and agriculture value chains.
“The farmers, fishers, and herders who grow and produce the food we eat should have a voice in the decisions affecting their lives. The CFS gives them that space,” said Kesteloot.
Notes to editors
Last year, the FAO estimated that 795 million people were suffering from chronic hunger. This year’s report shows 793 million people.
The Committee on World Food Security is the leading political platform where everyone, from small farmers organization to governments can come together to debate the challenges facing our broken food system.