Earth Hour

Saturday, February 13, 2016

As Hunger Continues to Affect Millions, UN Pushes for Zero Hunger

Last month, the Social Weather Station released the results of its survey showing that some 11.7% of Filipino families they surveyed experienced hunger in the last three months of 2015.  I checked the official statistics and found that some 6% of Filipino families experienced hunger in their last survey in 2012.

While the same survey indicated that hunger incidence has decreased, it's still quite surprising considering that the government continues to take pride in the fast economic growth in the country.  In fact, the same survey reported that the number of those who experienced involuntary hunger at least once a week (severe hunger) went up from the third-quarter figure.

Hunger is, in fact, a global problem. The United Nations reported that 1 in 9 people is chronically undernourished.  That is some 800 million people in total, and most of them are in developing countries. The highest number of hungry people are in Asia, accounting for two-thirds of the total.

It's good to know that world leaders have formally agreed to tackle hunger at its roots.  They adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development last September 2015, which includes 17 global goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years. 

No less than the UN Secretary-General pushed for the eradication of hunger by 2030.  He proposed a Zero Hunger Challenge which calls on all stakeholders to "work together in an integrated manner, and recognizes that Zero Hunger can only be achieved if all elements are taken together: zero stunting and good nutrition, and access to adequate food for everyone at all times; sustainable, inclusive and resilient food systems, with no loss or waste of food; and support for smallholders, especially women and young people." (

Below is a diagram of the five objectives of the Zero Hunger Challenge.

Let me end this piece by quoting the UN Secretary-General when he issued this challenge to world leaders.  “In a world of plenty, no one, not a single person, should go hungry. I invite all of you to join me in working for a future without hunger, Zero Hunger would boost economic growth, reduce poverty and safeguard the environment. It would foster peace and stability,”

Sources of data and information:
The Social Weather Stations
Philippine Statistical Authority
The United Nations
Zero Hunger Challenge

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