Elements include COVID-19 Pandemics, climate change and ongoing conflicts left nearly a billion people hungry last year, he said.
Meanwhile, the World Bank warned that the conflict in Ukraine will plunge an additional 95 million people into extreme poverty and 50 million into severe hunger this year.
“Honestly, we didn’t meet our food security goals, before 2020. However, the situation is very dire right now,” he said. speak Mr. Shahid.
“The shocks of many global crises have weakened our institutions, our economies, and challenged our ability to respond effectively.”
He stressed that despite this bleak picture, countries cannot lose hope. They must work collectively to reduce hunger and malnutrition globally, while also addressing the factors that cause them.
Mr. Shahid also emphasized the need to prioritize food security in the world’s least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing countries, which Citizens “are often forced to spend a larger share of their income on basic necessities, including food, and are therefore disproportionately affected by rising food prices. ”
Connectivity, not isolation
These countries must also receive help in the sustainable transformation of their food systems, in line with recommendations from the United Nations Food Systems Summit held last year. .
Mr. Shahid said as countries implement more sustainable and environmentally responsible food practices, they must also approach food security as part of a broader multilateral agenda. , both acknowledging the interconnectedness of today’s challenges and the futility of trying to tackle them unilaterally or in isolation. .
The food system must be able to provide affordable, sustainable and inclusive healthy diets. They must also become powerful motivators to end hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition.
“Among the actions we must take immediately include expanding climate resilience across food systems, enhancing the food environment and changing consumer behavior,” he said. used to promote dietary patterns that have a positive impact on human health and the environment.
“Addressing food security also requires that we prevent conflicts and pandemics from disrupting supply chains; to repair our relationship with nature, and ensure sustainable agriculture; and strengthen global institutions working to alleviate poverty. ”
A ‘critical moment’
Mr. Shahid convened the special high-level event together with the World Food Security Committee and the United Nations Secretary-General’s Global Crisis Response Team on Food, Energy and Finance.
In a video message to the meeting, UN chief António Guterres commended partners for joining forces at what he called “this critical moment”, noting the number of people suffering from severe food insecurity. weight has doubled in the past two years.
“We really face the risk of a lot of famine this year. And next year could be even worse. But we can avoid this disaster if we act now,” speak Mr. Guterres.
The Secretary-General stressed the need to immediately re-integrate Ukrainian food production, as well as Russian food and fertilizers, into world markets and keep global trade open.
He also called for solving the financial crisis in developing countries and urgently unlocking resources to strengthen social protection and support smallholder farmers to increase productivity and self-reliance.
Countries must also transform food systems at every level, to make affordable, healthy and sustainable diets accessible to everyone, everywhere.