Ground Report | New Delhi: 40% of the world’s population; Nutritious food is considered essential to lead an active and healthy life, but 300 million people, or 40 percent of the world’s population, do not have enough money to afford nutritious food. The report was released at the United Nations Food System Summit 2021 held in Rome from 26 to 28 July.
According to the report, the burden of diseases is increasing worldwide due to lack of healthy food. Many people are deprived of healthy food due to not being able to afford nutritious food. For this only, the market price of raw agricultural products is not responsible. The invisible cost of preparing food also increases its price significantly.
The report estimated the cost of food in 168 countries and found that the cheapest basic platter of lentils costs $0.71. This thali does not include the cost of cooking food. However, this plate does not meet the needs of nutritional food. If protein-rich red meat is included in this plate, then its price increases by $1.03. Similarly, the price of this plate increases by $1.07 when poultry is included and $1.30 if fish is included.
According to the report, if people eat cooked food instead of the basic thali and include canned beans, fish or tomatoes, and bread, then its cost almost doubles to $1.77 from the basic thali. If red meat is included in this, the price increases by $1.03. Similarly, if poultry is included, its price increases by $ 1.03 and if fish is included, its price increases by $ 1.30.
40% of the world’s population
The report said that the international poverty line is $1.90 a day and poor families are not able to spend that much money on food. In a quarter of countries where food is not very cheap, the cheapest plate costs about 6 percent or more of the average daily income. On eating cooked food, this price increases by 20 percent. If meat is included in the diet, the price increases by 10 percent. In such a situation people turn away from quality food.
According to the latest UN data, the world food system is responsible for a third of global greenhouse gas emissions, making it one of the main causes of climate change. “We are out of the way to achieve the SDGs, ” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who announced his plan to convene the Food Systems Summit in October 2019, before COVID- 19 drastically slowed progress toward the SDGs as zero hunger.
After remaining virtually unchanged for five years, hunger and malnutrition in the world increased in 2020 by some 118 million people, to reach 768 million. Most of the rise was likely due to the COVID -19 pandemic, according to a UN report.
World food prices had risen 33.9% year-
In international markets, world food prices had risen 33.9% year-on-year in June, according to the UN food agency’s price index, which measures a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat, and sugar.
This year, with summits like the current one, a greater diplomatic push has been given to the fight against hunger, malnutrition, and the climate crisis, but the challenge is enormous.
Guterres said the pre-summit will assess progress towards achieving the SDGs by transforming global food systems, which, he noted, are also responsible for 80% of the loss of biodiversity in the world.