UK (Parliament Politic Magazine) – In 2022, approximately 2.4 billion individuals experienced varying degrees of food insecurity, ranging from moderate to severe. Additionally, an estimated 735 million people were afflicted by chronic hunger, marking an increase of 122 million people compared to the figures from 2019.
Throughout 2022, close to 258 million individuals residing in 58 different countries or territories were classified as being in a state of ‘crisis’ or worse on the acute food insecurity scale. This represented a notable increase from the previous year when 193 million people across 53 countries or territories faced similar conditions.
On a global scale in the preceding year, an estimated 148 million children under the age of five, constituting approximately 22.3% or nearly a quarter of this age group, experienced stunted growth due to malnutrition. Furthermore, 45 million children, or approximately 6.8%, were classified as being in a ‘wasted’ condition, whereas 37 million children, making up around 5.6% of those under the age of five, were overweight.
Scope of The Inquiry
Every UN member nation has committed to the United Nations‘ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were established in 2015, with the ambitious target of achieving all 17 of these goals by the year 2030. However, as we reach the midpoint of this timeline, the UN has issued warnings that progress towards these goals has not only stagnated but, in some instances, has regressed due to the disruptive impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
SDG 2, which seeks to attain ‘Zero Hunger,’ encompasses a range of objectives, such as eradicating hunger and malnutrition, increasing agricultural productivity, ensuring the sustainability of food production systems, and preserving the genetic diversity of our food sources.
In July 2022, the Committee released a report addressing food insecurity, which assessed the effects of various critical factors on food security, including the Russia-Ukraine conflict and extreme weather events. The upcoming investigation will focus on the efforts of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and the broader UK Government concerning global hunger and nutrition.
Its primary aim is to advance progress toward the goal of achieving Zero Hunger by 2030, aligning with SDG2. The inquiry will also scrutinize how substantial ongoing reductions in the UK aid budget are impacting these initiatives.
Submitting Written Evidence
The Committee’s evaluation will encompass a comprehensive assessment of the government’s efforts to address hunger and nutrition concerns. This examination will delve into various aspects, including the nutritional content and caloric value of interventions, their appropriateness in terms of geographic regions and target populations.
Furthermore, it will scrutinize the effectiveness of both humanitarian or short-term initiatives and the medium to long-term strategies designed to combat hunger and improve nutrition. Additionally, the inquiry will investigate the UK’s endeavors in establishing food security, with a particular focus on enhancing sustainable food and agricultural production in low- and middle-income nations.
These efforts will need to consider the evolving requirements for climate resilience, the promotion of genetic diversity among plant crops, and the support provided to small-scale producers as integral components of achieving food security.
The committee eagerly invites input from a diverse array of individuals to enrich its inquiry. This inclusive call for evidence extends to experts, stakeholders, government authorities, and officials. However, it also warmly welcomes contributions from anyone who can offer valuable insights on the subject.
If you require any accommodations or adjustments to facilitate the submission of your evidence, please do not hesitate to reach out to the committee staff via email or phone. They are available to discuss potential solutions that can assist you in submitting your evidence in a manner that is reasonably practical for your circumstances.
These accommodations may involve alternative formats or extensions to provide you with ample time to prepare your evidence. The committee is committed to making the process as accessible as possible, and they are ready to assist you in any way they can.
For this particular inquiry, the collection of written submissions will continue until the deadline of Monday, December 4, 2023. Your input is greatly appreciated and can play a pivotal role in shaping the committee’s understanding of the matter at hand.
The effectiveness of the FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office) and the UK Government’s approach to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG 2) in countries eligible for Official Development Assistance (ODA) is a critical aspect of their international development efforts.