Do you get hangry?

Money may not buy happiness, but I am certainly happier when I am not hungry. And, while I sit here typing away, satiated after a nutritiously fulfilling lunch, people are hangry...chronically hangry.

We need money to feed the world. To achieve goal number 2, Zero Hunger, of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we need money. Let me make this clear though, we are not simply throwing money at an issue in the hope that it will go away. We are investing money in order to develop the capacities of those who are chronically hungry to be able to feed themselves and others too.

We do not use the term ‘investment’ lightly, we are serious about this. When we make monetary investments for people, we are providing them with the capacity to develop so that they can then make their own investments. Money is the catalyst; it enables one person to eat.  We are therefore investing in their health, their employment, their community, their economy...everything! This is a short-term investment for long term achievements, that’s achievements, plural.

To be able to fix a problem, in this case ‘zero hunger’, we must first clearly define it. For this we can use the model developed cooperatively by the International Food Policy and Research Institute (IFPRI) and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), to estimate the costs of zero hunger.  Dr. David Laborde, Senior Research Fellow at IFPRI, presented the model at a side event of the 43rd Session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS43).

The model defines a hungry personas: an adult who consumes, on average, less than 1750 calories per day. A country is considered to have put an end to hunger when more than 95% of its population is able to consume at least 1750 calories per day. According to Dr. Laborde, the model is only dealing with one facet of the complex “zero hunger goal”; it does not include nutritional and micronutrient requirements, but it is a start.

So how much money do we need? Based on the current level of investment, we will not achieve our 2030 Zero Hunger SDG:  600 million people will still be hungry. An estimated extra year is required to achieve zero hunger by 2030. Further investment is imperative, Dr. Laborde says. Without it, a staggering 1.3 billion people would be hungry by 2030!

Although USD $11 billion per year sounds ambitious, it is possible for us to achieve this together. Dr. Njama Nango Dembélé, Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, Mali, recognises that we may need to increase taxes but suggests countries earmark this financial investment in their budgets. Malawi has already committed to doing so by setting aside 15% of its budget for agriculture. It’s time other countries follow suit.

As Carin Smaller, Advisor on agriculture and investment at the IISD, pointed out, the ultimate goal is not to reduce or halve hunger, but to end hunger.  Through collaborative research efforts we may achieve this target. Based on current knowledge, technology and innovative methodologies, the model developed by IFPRO and IISD provides a feasibility test.

I’m sure you’ve encountered someone who was hangry before, they're usually quite snarky, a bit bitter and not very happy. There are 800 million people who are hangry right now.  The USD $11 billion year estimated to end hunger, equates to USD $13.75 each day for each person.  That means zero hunger, no hangry and much more happiness...Do you think this is feasible?


Blogpost by Jana L. Phan, #CFS43 Social Reporter –

Image Credit: Jana L. Phan

This post is part of the live coverage during the 43rd Session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS). This post is written by one of our social reporters, and represents the author’s views only.

24/10/2016 9:20


No comments