#Editorial

Gambia and its food security challenges!

May 20, 2021, 11:36 AM

Food safety and security are two complementing elements in any sustainable development.

 

And public health has come to the fore in the last two years like no time in recent history, amid covid-19 the world was already witnessing a much quieter pandemic- malnutrition.

Globally, the number of people affected by malnutrition is startling. Estimates indicates that 149 million children are stunted (chronically undernourished) and 50 million are acutely undernourished (wasted), with under-nutrition a direct or underlying cause in 45% of all child deaths.

Malnutrition and unhealthy diet presents an enormous risk to disease and death in many countries.

While global hunger continues to rise amid coronavirus pandemic, there is need for swift action to save world children from this humanitarian catastrophe.

Countries need to act fast and in a more coordinated approach to keep this looming food insecurity at bay.

It is a fact that the advent of the coronavirus pandemic has forced many communities into a state of ‘nightmare’. While, small businesses are still struggling to recover, the world lost more than billions of tons of food these past years.

It is in the news that the United Nation‘s Resident Coordinator Seraphine Wakana has disclosed that The Gambia’s food system is facing critical challenges on various forms which could lead to hunger, poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition.

To this end, she affirmed her institution readiness to provide support to the Gambia government for a national food system dialogue summit.

As she rightly put it, it is time to change how the world, especially poor countries like The Gambia, produce and consume in order to reduce greenhouse gas and transforming the food system.

This is important for delivery of all the sustainable development goals.

However, the proposed food summit will help raise global awareness and share commitment that can transform the food system and preserve hungry, reduce diet, eliminate disease and restore health.

Eradicating global hunger has been one of the sustainable development goals of the UN agency and their role in this summit is paramount.

For the UN agency, to feed 10 billion persons 2050, there is need to get the trade-offs right between sustainability, food security, food safety, and make better use of food already produced.

The hierarchy of strategies for reducing food losses and waste becomes all the more important in this context.

Therefore, there is need to act urgently to ensure solutions to the future country’s food security and sustainability without compromising food safety to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) which includes eradication of hunger and poverty among others.

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