What projects can end food insecurity by 2020?
MANILA, Philippines – The global community now faces the challenge of ensuring nutritious and adequate food as the world’s population is expected to exceed 9.5 billion by 2050.
The World Food Programme (WFP) estimates that there are over 805 million people who do not have access to food that can help them live a healthy and active life. Meanwhile, annually, 3 million children under 5 years old die due to undernutrition.
It can be expected that the current number of people affected will increase if existing problems – hunger, malnutrition, and related factors – are not addressed in the near future.
In solving the world’s most solvable problem, however, giving food is not enough.
Sustainable programs and projects should be established to end the increasing number of hungry and malnourished people in the world.
For the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics (JHBIP), it is also important that these solutions should be diverse – to address specific issues – and be done ethically.
“The challenge of global food security is too urgent to ignore these ethical issues, but deciding which issues are the most important, and which ones can actually be resolved, is not obvious," JHBIP Director Ruth Faden said in a statement. “There is wide agreement that this state of affairs cannot be allowed to continue, but making real progress, progress that lasts and is fair, requires confronting some extremely difficult ethical issues."
The Institute, for their part, came up with a landmark report which outlines the next steps the world should undertake to solve food insecurity.
Released just this May, the report also called the "7 by 5 agenda" suggests 7 projects that can tackle the complex issues of food insecurity in a very realistic way. Each project – although ambitious – has a timeline of 5 years, in time for 2020.
The report was started in 2014 following a meeting of 23 experts who can contribute to ending world hunger.
Each project details motivations and plans as follows:
1. Ethical challenges in projections of global food demand, supply, and prices
The project aims to overcome the challenges faced in forecasting the demand, supply, and prices of food. Through better identification and concrete recommendations, accuracy is much more ensured making projections more laden with integrity – a vital component where policies and decisions related to food security are based.
2. The food sovereignty movement and the "exceptionality of food and agriculture" (or the diverse approaches to food and agriculture)
The project ventures to narrow the gap between people over the rights of people over democratic control of food, agricultural, and resource policy. If these disagreements are identified prior to implementation of policies and programs, this can lessen problems.
3. The case for the professionalization of farming
The project calls to enable farmers to be "professionals" who are obliged to meet expectations of the public for food security.
4. Global agricultural research and development: ethics, priorities, and funders
The project seeks to develop and implement reform-oriented recommendations to help ensure an equal share of agricultural research and development. This will serve as a direct answer to the needs and preferences of impoverished farmers in low-income countries.
5. Climate-smart and climate-just agriculture
The project will highlight the importance of a type of agriculture that will adjust to the problematic climate the world experiences. In addition, it will ensure benefits and burdens are fairly distributed across regions and generations.
6. Ethics of meat consumption in high-income and middle-income countries
The project seeks to make recommendations about the ethics of public and private interventions to address and alter meat-consumption patterns in high- and middle-income countries.
7. Consumers, certifications, and labels: ethically benchmarking food systems
The project aims to develop an integrated labelling system that will push for easy consumers to trustworthy information surrounding the food products: environmental sustainability, animal welfare, labor standards, food safety, and public health.
Turning to reality
The institute is determined and very committed to turning the said projects into reality to contribute to the fight against hunger and food insecurity.
“It is possible to make progress on divisive ethical issues in global food security and food systems by focusing on a set of problems that are both significant and tractable," project director Dr Yashar Saghai said.
Although the projects seem huge, the moral obligations are driving the team behind the 7 by 5 agenda.
With the increasing number of people at risk to fall under the hunger trap, suffer from poverty, and worse, die, as food insecurity threatens the world, everyone – especially those with enough resources and knowledge – should not sit still. – Rappler.com