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UN Global Goal 2: Zero Hunger

Solutions Journalism Network

The goal of Zero Hunger encompasses food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture. In addition to increasing investments in food systems and sustainable agriculture, the goal to end hunger by 2030 must also include campaigns to increase access to nutritious foods and efforts to reduce food waste. In this wide-ranging collection of stories below, efforts both large and small reveal the many solutions to hunger being pursued globally.

Technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and genetic science are vital tools in the fight against hunger, land degradation, and climate change. AI can help identify complex problem areas and engineer solutions, as Joseph Bennington-Castro explains. We learn from Amy Maxmen about the use of genetic science to develop new varieties of crops like cassava. Cassava is already a resilient, drought-tolerant crop, and scientists are working to improve its yields by crossing African varieties with those found in Asia and other continents.

Despite significant gains in reducing hunger during the last century, the mounting effects of climate change are having a pronounced negative impact on long-term food security. The UN notes an increase in the number undernourished individuals beginning in 2016 and continuing into 2017.

 Children are particularly vulnerable to the long-term consequences of food insecurity. Studies in Nepal have noted that as of 2014, a stunning 41 percent of Nepali children suffer from stunting due to malnutrition. In addition to stunted growth, chronic food insecurity lowers IQ, diminishes developmental capacity, and ushers in vulnerability to disease, making hunger the leading cause of death worldwide.  Children also suffer the effects of poor nutrition, with over 40 million children worldwide categorized as obese.

From cities ranging from Philadelphia to New Delhi, programs are working to provide children with reliable access to nutrition. However, these initiatives cannot reach everyone. In the US, the keys to supplementing governmental programs often include cross-sector collaboration, such as making use of additional relationships with non-profits, as well as the use of local volunteers and charitable organizations.  In light of the pandemic, we learn how communities such as Hamden, CT are addressing food scarcity and hunger by expanding food banks and providing free meals to children under 18.

Click here for more stories in the Solutions Story Tracker on the goal of zero hunger.

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