food-coalition-to-prevent-catastrophic-food-crisis-summary

Context: Recently, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations launched a Food Coalition, showing the urgency to tackle the catastrophic food crisis. 

More on the news: 

  • The coalition, proposed by Italy and led by the Food and Agriculture Organization, aims to increase resilience of agricultural food systems, ensure global food access.
  • Italy and the Netherlands have already pledged and delivered financial resources and technical support to the coalition.
  • More than 30 countries have already expressed interest in joining the coalition.

Background: 

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has pulled food systems apart, threatening food security and nutrition. 
  • At least 690 million people went hungry in 2019, according to the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report, 2020. 
    • According to the report, the pandemic could tip over 130 million more people into chronic hunger by the end of 2020.
  • According to the FAO Food Price Index, the global food prices continued to rise for the fifth successive month  in October.

About the Food Coalition:

  • Will have a devoted trust fund and a web-based hub: Allowing participants to access a basket of project-focused information and data, as well as the funding and types of assistance needed for many on-the-ground projects.
  • The Food Coalition would work towards:
    • Mobilising resources, expertise and innovation.
    • Advocating for a joint and coordinated COVID-19 response.
    • Promoting dialogue and exchange of knowledge and expertise among countries.
    • Working towards solution-oriented plans and programmes.
    • Expanding international cooperation and partnership for a longer term impact.

Objective:

  • Help to achieve SDGs: The global alliance aims to help countries to get back on track to achieve the UN-mandated Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, especially ending hunger and poverty. 
  • Unified global action ensuring food security: The alliance would work as a network of networks and a multi-stakeholder coalition to support measures to ensure food access and increase the resilience of agricultural food systems in response to COVID-19.

Way ahead: 

  • Proper functioning of food value chains: This will make sure that the agricultural labour force and poor consumers, both rural and urban are not pushed beyond the poverty line.
  • Increase the resilience of agri-food systems: To be ready to minimise risks and cope with pandemics, as they occur.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO):

  • It is a specialized agency of the United Nations founded in 1945, that leads international efforts to defeat hunger and improve nutrition and food security. 
  • The FAO is headquartered in Rome, Italy and maintains regional and field offices around the world, operating in over 130 countries. 
  • It is composed of 197 member states, and governed by a biennial conference representing each member country and the European Union, which elects a 49-member executive council.
  • It helps governments and development agencies coordinate their activities to improve and develop agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and land and water resources. 
  • It also conducts research, provides technical assistance to projects, operates educational and training programs, and collects data on agricultural output, production, and development.

The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2020:

  • It is an annual flagship report jointly prepared by:
    • Food and Agriculture Organization.
    • International Fund for Agricultural Development.
    • United Nations Children’s Fund.
    • World Food Programme.
    • World Health Organization.
  • Objective: To inform on progress towards ending hunger, achieving food security and improving nutrition and to provide in depth analysis on key challenges for achieving this goal in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Source: DTE