http://www.fao.org/typo3temp/pics/1999600ddd.jpg

How to end the chronic hunger with more money? Social protection in the form of cash transfers will eliminate hunger immediately !

Photo credit: FAO

Women farmers in Myanmar. In rural areas, pro-poor investments should support family farmers and other small-holders in a variety of ways.

Achieving Zero Hunger: Combining social protection with pro-poor investments

An additional $160 per year for each person living in extreme poverty will end chronic hunger new UN estimates show

JOINT FAO / WFP / IFAD NEWS RELEASE

10 July 2015, Rome – Eradicating world hunger sustainably by 2030 will require an estimated additional $267 billion per year on average for investments in rural and urban areas and in social protection, so poor people have access to food and can improve their livelihoods, a new UN report says. This would average $160 annually for each person living in extreme poverty over the 15 year period.

Prepared by FAO, the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP), the report, which was presented in Rome today, comes ahead of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 13 – 16 July 2015.

The report notes that despite the progress made in recent decades, today nearly 800 million people, most of them in rural areas, still do not have enough food to eat.

Eliminating chronic undernourishment by 2030 is a key element of the proposed Sustainable Development Goal 2 of the new post-2015 agenda to be adopted by the international community later this year and is also at the heart of the Zero Hunger Challenge promoted by the UN Secretary-General.

“The message of the report is clear: if we adopt a “business as usual” approach, by 2030, we would still have more than 650 million people suffering from hunger. This is why we are championing an approach that combines social protection with additional targeted investments in rural development, agriculture and urban areas that will chiefly benefit the poor,” said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva.

“Our report estimates that this will require a total investment of some US$267 billion per year over the next 15 years. Given that this is more or less equivalent to 0.3 percent of the global GDP, I personally think it is a relatively small price to pay to end hunger,” Graziano da Silva added.

“This report helps us to see the magnitude of the challenge ahead of us, but we believe that we won’t see gains in reducing poverty and hunger unless we seriously invest in rural people,” said IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze.

———

From social protection to production

Social protection in the form of cash transfers will eliminate hunger immediately, and will improve nutrition by allowing the poor to afford more diverse and thus healthier diets and also fight “hidden hunger” – micronutrient deficiencies, including the inadequate intake of vitamins, iron and other minerals.

Given their meagre means and assets, people living in extreme poverty are initially not expected to be able to invest much in productive activities. However, as they become more productive through investments, they will earn more, and also save and invest more, and thus further increase their earnings.

Read the full article: FAO

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.