UN Secretary General António Guterres has named climate change and political conflict as both a consequence and a root cause of poverty, income inequality and high food prices around the world. The statements of the Portuguese politician are cited by the Associated Press.
Guterres noted that at the moment, healthy food is not available to three billion people. And in July, the UN reported in its report that 161 million more people faced hunger in 2020 than a year earlier, most likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the secretary general indicated that the world food system accounts for a third of all greenhouse gas emissions and 80 percent of the loss of biological diversity.
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the United Nations agency for helping smallholder farmers, has called on governments to “address the food system deficiencies” that keep hundreds of millions of people living in poverty and hunger. Making food production safer for the ecosystem and increasing wages for food industry workers will help remedy the situation.
Guterres said the preparatory meeting for the food systems summit could push the authorities in many countries to fight for an equitable and sustainable economic recovery from the pandemic. However, such an effort will require a significant investment.
Maximo Torrero, chief economist at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, said it would take $ 14 billion annually to eliminate chronic malnutrition of 100 million people. And to completely eliminate hunger by 2030, you need to triple the annual amount. According to UN forecasts, the goal will not be achieved - in the next decade there will be 660 million hungry people, 30 million of whom will be affected by the "long-term effects of the pandemic."