Global Food Crisis & Collaboration for Sustainability
By Sundeep Hans
We can’t keep doing what we’ve been doing.
It isn’t sustainable and now we know it.
Earlier this month, the United Nations Humanitarian Chief, Stephen O’Brien minced no words when he told the UN Security Council that “without collective and co-ordinated global efforts, people will simply starve to death…many more will suffer and die from disease.” According to him the world will not be able “to avert a catastrophe” without $4.4 billion in funds. We are facing one of the largest humanitarian crisis ever with more than 20 million people across Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria facing starvation and famine.
The various conflicts around the world have left millions of people displaced and hungry and it is clearer than ever that collective effort, the world over, is required. A coordinated effort to feed the hungry in these nations is an “essential building block for peace”. However, with the current geopolitical environment we cannot look to the Trump administration for leadership to this end. While John F. Kennedy set the standard for all following presidents by placing the fight against global hunger at the centre of his peace strategy, the current POTUS has shown a great propensity for doing away with the status quo time and again. JFK was ahead of his time. He believed that “world opinion must be concentrated upon the international effort to eliminate hunger as a primary task of this generation…and world peace and progress cannot be maintained in a world half fed and half hungry”. His words are relevant today.
Nevertheless, while much of the monetary support has to come from governments, there is a plenty left for the rest of us. Once again we can look to the 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development for some guidance on what the world must do now in order to end extreme poverty, inequality, and climate change by 2030. We have already highlighted Global Goal 2 in a previous post. Another goal that aligns with Seva Food Bank’s mission and values is Global Goal 12, which highlights the steps we must take to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
While some of these steps do require considerable government efforts – the implementation of a 10-year framework on sustainable consumption and production led by developed countries – others, like the substantial reduction of waste through prevention, reduction, reusing, and recycling, can be done by anyone, and in fact, have been part of the millennial vernacular since the early 1990’s.
We can all make small changes in our everyday life that will valuably contribute to the realization of Global Goals.
Here are some things you can start doing right now to help:
Be mindful. Be mindful of the food you waste and do better. A report in the United Kingdom found that families were throwing away enough food to make six meals a week! Be mindful of your carbon foot print. Households use 29% of global energy and contribute to 21% global CO2 emissions.
Shop for food more frequently, buying what you need when you need it. The same study found that people who shopped frequently were less likely to buy food that they did not need. Stocking up on more food than you need is not helpful if you’re throwing it away.
Donate extra food to your local food bank.