How the Sustainable Development Goals will help us achieve Zero Hunger

This essay focuses upon the issue of How the Sustainable Development Goals will help us achieve Zero Hunger which is discussed in the ‘2016 Global Hunger Index: Getting to Zero Hunger’ book published by IFPRI in 2016.


“795 million people are going hungry. We demand: Nobody should have to suffer from hunger!” (Hunger - Causes, Prevalence, Consequences; Welt Hunger Hilfe). 

“The cost of hunger is measured not only in lost lives but also in unrealised potential for individuals” (CONCERN worldwide).
“I cannot do everything - but everybody can do something”, - former UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld.

The 2016 GHI book presents in a multidimensional measure the concept of the Global Hunger Index, demonstrates substantial progress in terms of hunger reduction for the developing world (Global, regional, and national trends) and focuses on how the second goal ‘Zero Hunger’ of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN can be achieved by 2030.

The 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development represents a political manifesto for the world over the next 14 years. It sets a clear objective for all people, nations, institutions, organizations, and enterprises: Transform our world to ensure that people and our planet thrive by ending poverty and hunger, reaching the most vulnerable first.

According to the 2016 Global Hunger Index (GHI) book (published by IFPRI in 2016), levels of hunger are still serious or alarming in 50 countries. The highest hunger levels are still found in Africa south of the Sahara and South Asia. Nevertheless Africa south of the Sahara has achieved the largest improvement since 2000 and South Asia has also seen a sizable reduction.

The 2030 Agenda concerns every country as a developing country. That means - every country needs to change the way it operates, considering the wider impact of its policies and actions beyond its own national borders, to contribute toward a sustainable future for the world.

By employing innovative approaches, utilizing advanced technologies, and ensuring that cooperation and fairness are the underpinning principles of all our actions, we can transform our world and eradicate hunger for all, and for good. (Transforming our world: How the Sustainable Development Goals will help us achieve Zero Hunger).


The complex and interlinked nature of the roots causing poverty and hunger requires more integrated approaches of doing business that puts the individual, human rights and social justice at the center.

The 2030 UN Agenda is also integrated and indivisible, as it recognizes that people do not live in discrete silos or sectors but in a continuum of interrelated communities and ecosystems. It therefore demands a complete revolution in the way we organize ourselves and in the way we work. Strong proactive leadership is needed across all strata to ensure that the goals form a key component of national strategies and budgets.

The SDS2 - Zero Hunger refers to the achievement of food security, improved nutrition, and sustainable agriculture as part of a comprehensive set of interwoven actions that will contribute to improvements in people’s health and well-being and will have a profound effect on planet, prosperity, and peace. (The Paris Climate Change Agreement).

Rapid progress toward ending hunger and malnutrition can be achieved through a number of interconnected actions, some of which are:

UN Global Pulse – Big Data SDG platform. Its mission is to accelerate discovery, development and scaled adoption of big data innovation for sustainable development and humanitarian action.

2016 Global Hunger Index Data tool is designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger globally, regionally, and by country.

  • amplifying collective action in all segments of society worldwide in pursuit of ever better solutions to help end rural poverty and empowering women;
  • preserving ecosystems and natural resources;
  • building resilience among individuals and communities to give them the capabilities needed to respond to shocks and stresses (in case of natural disasters) in a way that does not undermine their longer-term development and ecosystem sustainability; 
  • transforming agriculture (including smallholder farmers, fishers, pastoralists, forest collectors, and traditional and indigenous communities) and food systems in a way that makes them inclusive, resilient, and sustainable;
  • encouraging cross-border learning and knowledge-sharing among countries and regions.

The UN system, governments, civil society, and the business community will have to cross traditional institutional boundaries, establish new partnerships, pioneer new ways of working, thus harnessing the power of individuals to drive change and hold their leaders to account for their commitments.

The last decade has witnessed the rise of different platforms, partnerships, and movements aimed at ending hunger and malnutrition in all its forms.

Compact2025 platform, led by the International Food Policy Research (IFPRI), provides a knowledge base promoting innovation, and bringing stakeholders together.

These experiments in partnership, collective impact, and multistakeholder stewardship provide lessons for our broader work in implementing the 2030 Agenda.

#  Policy recommendations: Make a Whole-of-Government Commitment to Zero Hunger --  Transform Our Food Systems to Transform Our World -- Leave No One Behind -- Measure, Monitor, and Hold to Account.


Source: IFPRI publication - 2016-Global-Hunger-Index-Getting-Zero-Hunger


Related contents:



Add comment

Log in or register to post comments