The United Nations World Food Programme is the organization’s food assistance branch that aims to achieve zero hunger all over the world by 2030. They focus on addressing food security and hunger issues and running different projects and programs that would help eradicate hunger worldwide, especially in poverty-stricken countries.
Just recently, the World Food Programme’s longstanding efforts toward achieving zero hunger have been duly recognized by the Norwegian Nobel Committee. They have been awarded the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize for its “key role in multilateral cooperation on making food security an instrument of peace, and has made a strong contribution towards mobilizing UN Member States to combat the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict.”
The committee added that the World Food Programme won the esteemed prize because of its continued and intensified efforts to combat hunger, especially in conflict-affected areas, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Read: Govt Plans to Provide Food Aid to at-Risk Pregnant Women, Children)
But what exactly does the World Food Programme do to achieve zero hunger by the year 2030? The answer is through the Five Steps to Zero Hunger that they follow to eradicate hunger across the world and ensure food security even in poverty- and conflict-stricken areas, such as the Philippines.
Five Steps to Zero Hunger: Put the Furthest Behind First
The World Food Programme believes that by putting the “furthest behind first,” the most vulnerable will be able to receive the same opportunities as those who are more fortunate. It also makes the government aware of the number of people living in the marginalized sector and paves the way for policymakers to create policies, programs, and laws that will enable inclusive development in the community.
In the Philippines, the World Food Programme has food and cash assistance programs that help those who have been affected by armed conflict or natural disasters to get back on their feet.
Five Steps to Zero Hunger: Pave the Road From Farm to Market
The World Food Programme believes that food security starts when food is accessible to all. And to make this possible, building infrastructures that allow farmers to bring their goods to different markets should be prioritized, as well as improving storage and electrification.
Five Steps to Zero Hunger: Reduce Food Waste
According to the World Food Programme’s data, around a third of the world’s yearly food production is wasted or lost, amounting to at least $1 trillion each year. It is said that in developing countries just like the Philippines, food is wasted even before it is served on the plate. This is because the storage for produce is poor or farmers aren’t able to deliver their goods to the markets. (Read: 5 Easy Ways for a Sustainable Lifestyle)
Five Steps to Zero Hunger: Encourage a Sustainable Variety of Crops
When we talk about crops, rice and corn are usually the ones that come up. That is so because rice and corn, together with wheat and soy, are the most common calories consumed, accounting for 60 percent all over the world. However, with the issue of climate change, farmers would have to look for other varieties of crops to ensure food security and sustainability. To achieve this, the World Food Programme suggests that authorities and experts should work together with farmers so they can access the proper equipment and materials to grow new crops.
Five Steps to Zero Hunger: Make Nutrition a Priority
As the cliché saying goes, “Health is Wealth.” And that rings true for everyone, no matter what gender, race, social status, or age. This is why the World Food Programme prioritizes providing proper nutrition to children in their first 1000 days—from conception to two years—and nursing mothers. By giving them the food they need to develop and grow properly, stunting and illnesses may be prevented and children will grow up to be in good health. (Read: 5 Prayers for a Healthy Pregnancy and Safe Delivery)
In the Philippines, the World Food Programme provides ready-to-eat meals to children six months to five years old and pregnant and nursing mothers in conflict-affected and disaster-stricken areas. The World Food Programme is also continuously innovating to ensure that its programs catch up with the needs of the communities they are serving. The organization also gives out hot meals to school children in Mindanao every year, serving around 60,000 students each school year.