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690 million people (SOFI 2020) in the world suffer from hunger, about two billion are chronically malnourished. Conflicts, crises and climate change exacerbate the problem, particularly for smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. The Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) therefore works to improve food security and resilience.
690 million people (SOFI 2020) in the world are starving – particularly south of the Sahara in Africa and Asia. It is also estimated that 2 billion people are chronically malnourished. They are lacking important vitamins and minerals. The effects are devastating, particularly for children in their first 1,000 days.
If they are lacking essential micronutrients such as vitamin A, iron or zinc in this phase of their life, this can have life-long effects such as stunted growth and limited mental capacity. The consequences do not only affect individuals but entire national economies. Therefore, hunger and malnutrition are two of the biggest obstacles for development.
As part of the special initiative “ONE WORLD - No Hunger”, the global programme “Food Security and Enhanced Resilience” focuses on women of reproductive age and children up to 2 years of age in rural areas of Africa and Asia in order to improve their nutritional situation as well as their resilience to hunger crises.
2014 to 2023
Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
190 million euros
Leupanja nods happily – she has attended a nutrition training course with some of her neighbours where she has just made natural yoghurt. “Before I attended the training course on processing milk, our excess milk would often go off,” enthuses the young mother, who can now prepare the yoghurt for her family or sell it on the market to buy other healthy food. She has learned the various steps to make it, while a health worker from the region goes over the hygiene rules again for her and her neighbours: Wash hands before milking, wash the udder, filter and boil the milk before drinking or further processing it. In regions such as Marsabit in Kenya, where supermarkets and refrigerators are not a matter of course, these tips and tricks help to increase the daily range of foods available in the villages.
There are people all over the world who are starving and malnourished. Not only do they not have enough to eat, they also do not have access to a balanced and healthy diet. Malnutrition is not less dangerous than acute undernutrition but is more difficult to detect. The effects of climate change often exacerbate the local situation due to excess rain or long dry periods.
Incorrect nutrition and hygiene practices are the triggers for hunger and malnutrition. Pregnant women and children are the worst affected. They require a lot of nutrients in order to properly care for their body. But only a healthy body is capable of optimally using the nutrients that have been consumed. Therefore, improved hygiene practices also play an important role in tackling malnutrition.
However, it is not just individual people who are affected, but entire regions, particularly remote rural areas that barely benefit from state structures. The situation in these regions is also exacerbated by factors such as a high birth rate, armed conflicts or the effects of climate change.
In 2015, representatives from 193 countries agreed on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, also referred to as SDGs, which set out the global action plan by 2030. These goals can only help to sustainably tackle inequality and mitigate climate change if states work together.
Hunger and malnutrition are one of the main challenges of the SDG. Many of the goals are very difficult to achieve in the long term if basic human needs are not met. The goal “Zero Hunger” – SDG 2 – aims to end hunger, improve nutrition, ensure access to food and its availability and support sustainable farming.
No player is capable of achieving zero hunger alone. If the world is to be hunger-free by 2030, governments, civil society organisations, science and the private sector must work together, invest and develop innovations to create long-term solutions.
As part of the special initiative “ONE WORLD - No Hunger”, the global programme “Food Security and Enhanced Resilience” focuses on women of reproductive age and children up to 2 years of age in selected rural areas of Africa and Asia.
Good nutrition in these areas depends on many factors. Various sectors such as agriculture, health and hygiene must work together so that people can eat a balanced and healthy diet all year round.
Therefore, the strategy of the programme not only involves training activities for the affected population on nutrition, farming as well as storing and preserving nutritious foods, but also hygiene consulting in order to avoid infectious diseases. This is how Leupanja’s village community also learned how agricultural products can be preserved for their own consumption or for sale – for example by turning excess milk into yoghurt.
This so-called multisectoral approach is also a key part of vertical policy consultation. At the local level, the programme works with decentralised structures of the responsible ministries. Approaches that have proven effective at the village level are anchored in national policies by way of joint strategies or national legislation.
In many of the GV project areas, the quality of food as well as nutrition security has increased since 2015. This has already been confirmed by statistical measurements. In particular, the situation has considerably improved in households that regularly benefit from various methods of the approach.
Successes must be ensured in order to meet the goals of the 2030 Agenda. Taking joint action, anchoring the measures in politics in the partner countries and international networks such as the Scaling-Up Nutrition Movement are the only way to ensure that millions of people in poor rural areas can be freed of hunger and malnutrition in the long term.