Hunger is just the tip of the iceberg.
There is more than enough food produced today to feed everyone in the world, yet close to 800 million people are chronically hungry. Locally, there may be food, but it may not be affordable, easily accessible, or culturally appropriate. Globally, climate change, declining food varieties, and unfair global trade rules benefit large companies at the expense of small farmers and traditional growers. These are all reasons why far too many people still don’t get enough nutritious food to eat.
Addressing the root causes of hunger, including unequal access to resources, climate change, and human rights issues is a more sustainable way to eradicate hunger both locally and globally. Here’s how:
Equality and Power
Small farmers produce roughly 70% of the world’s food, but globally, trade rules supported by governments favour large companies. This often results in small farmers being pushed off of their land to grow fewer crops for export instead of diverse crops to feed local communities. In developing countries, the majority of small farmers are women, yet women often have even less access to land rights, financial services, and decision-making power.
In order to eradicate hunger at home and around the world, governments need to make sure all people, especially women, have equal access to basic services, the right to own land and property, and have equal decision-making power.
Farming communities, especially in countries that already face many other barriers to accessing local, healthy food, are also the most affected by climate change. Severe droughts, floods, and shifting growing seasons can wipe out entire crops for several years. Diversity, including plants and animals as well as people, is the key to a strong and resilient environment. Small-scale farmers are the gate-keepers of diversity, planting many different kinds of crops.
By taking care of our planet, fixing our climate, and supporting small farmers we are creating more healthy, resilient food systems that are better able to feed families, communities, and the world.
Partnerships and Solidarity
When we support food producers who grow food for their local communities, we help create space for those who face hunger to address the problems that affect them the most. By sharing ideas and solutions in a respectful and equal way, we can create even better systems that reflect the diversity of our world.
Supporting more people-centred and planet-friendly options like fair trade and cooperatives are ways to support people who grow the world’s food to receive fair wages and healthy working environments, and to build sustainable local economies.
Dignity and Human Rights
Because food is a fundamental human right, if we want everyone to have access to healthy, affordable food, it means we need to fight for human rights.
By working for human rights and supporting governments and community projects that put power in the hands of people, we are helping people to determine their own food needs, rather than making decisions for others. This leads to more sustainable solutions to local and global hunger problems.