Although the United Nations (UN) signed an agreement in 1948, to date it is still not possible to state that every country guarantees the right to food to its population. From 2000 to 2017, the Global Hunger Index (GHI) has decreased from 30 to 21,8 (<27%). There have been many progress in recent years, however, food security is still precarious: in 2017, only one country (Central African Republic) has shown extremely alarming levels of hunger, but other 51 countries had severe and acute levels of hunger. Numbers at global level remain critical with 800 millions of people victims of hunger. One out of four children is affected by growth disorders and 8% of children are wasted. Conflicts and climate change are affecting mostly the poor, contributing to an endless crisis in some parts of the world. Hunger is more intense and persistent among already vulnerable and disadvantaged populations. Following the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the international community is committed to eradicate hunger and progressively reduce inequality before 2030.
Therefore, here is Goal: Zero Hunger, an inclusive idea aiming to identify the areas, countries and populations most vulnerable to hunger and malnutrition in order to expedite their progress. To reach this goal it was launched the Hunger Zero Challenge, and initiative that can "end hunger, eliminate all forms of malnutrition, and build inclusive and sustainable food systems" before 2030. Zero Hunger intends to motivate all the persons and institutions of interests (such as governs, private sector, no profit organizations) to do their part in implementing this important goal.
There is an obvious hunger, which we are familiar with through the tragic documentaries about the global south, and there is a more insidious hunger, more difficult to identify. It is the case in which there is enough food to survive, but not enough to be healthy, because of the deficit in vitamins and other essential nutrients. Recently, in many Developing Countries processed food and beverage are taking over. Processed food is high in energy but poor at a nutritional level.
Experts call it "Hidden Hunger" and it is a condition that affects about 2 billions people all over the world, condemning them to a vicious cycle of malnutrition, poor health and poverty. This situation is a serious development limit and a violation of human rights. In order to make hidden hunger more visible, in 2014 was published a report called Global Hunger Index: the Challenge of Hidden Hunger. This problem can cause development delays, precarious health and death, and decreased production, slowing down the social-economical development.
Various solutions have been identified to respond to this problem. First of all, the introduction of a healthy and diverse diet in the daily lives of every man, woman and child. Also, supporting the creation of private vegetable gardens and distribution of supplements could help to overcome this difficult situation. These measures to fight hunger will require an intervention of multiple sectors: agriculture, health and sanitation, water, social protection, education and female empowerment.
GLOBAL HUNGER INDEX
The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is a tool designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger globally and by country and region. Because hunger has a multidimensional nature, the GHI combines four component indicators:
MALNUTRITION: the proportion of the undernourished as a percentage of the population (whose calories assumption is insufficient)
EARLY CHILDHOOD WASTING: the proportion of children under the age of five suffering from wasting (when weight is insufficient compares to height, it indicates acute malnutrition)
EARLY CHILDHOOD STUNTING: the proportion of children under the age of five suffering from stunting (insufficient height for their age, it indicates chronic malnutrition)
CHILDREN MORTALITY: the mortality rate of children under the age of five (due to a combination of insufficient assumption of calories and unhealthy households)
There are various advantages in using this combination of factors. The indicators included in the GHI reflect both calories insufficiency and nutritional poverty. By including indicators specifically related to children, the index explains the nutritional situation not only of the population as a whole, but also of the children – an especially vulnerable segment of population for which lack of food energy, proteins and micronutrients (essential vitamins and minerals) cause an high risk of diseases, reduced physical and mental development, or even death. Thanks to the inclusion of both early childhood wasting and stunting, the GHI considers both acute and chronic malnutrition. Lastly, by mixing up more indicators, the index reduces the effects of possibly miscalculations.
Where and how PRO.SA is working
Countries Etiopia, Mozambico, Perù, Togo and Camerun
Activities - Healt care
- Milk enriched with micronutrients, for children from 0 to 5 years.
Countries Ecuador and Thailandia
Activities - Familiarpsycotherapy
- Child care and assistance to families in the care of their needs
Countries Kenya, Pakistan and Philippines
Activities - Raising the level of education by ensuring access to food
Countries Bolivia, Brasil, Perù, Etiopia and Mozambico
Activities - Teaching of the nutritional values of various food
- Cooking classes for the preparation of balanced foods with local products
- Informative publications with simple recipes.
- Monthly monitoring of the health of children and pregnant women
Countries Camerun, Philippines, Haiti, Indonesia, Kenya, Thailandia, Togo and Vietnam
Activities - Ensure proper nutrition for children
- Monitor the health of children by weekly or monthly
- To train mothers on the notions of basic hygiene
- Make irrigation wells
- Start activities of community gardens
The fight against malnutrition in children must be fought on different frontlines:
• Provision of food and micronutrients to children through healthy meals in school cafeterias and medical centres, and distribution of feed rations to families.
• Medical screenings for children every three or six months, with eventual cure for intestinal parasites. The screening, thanks to two measurements, MUAC (Mid-Upper Arm Circumference) and BMI (Body Mass Index), can indicate different levels of malnutrition.
• Education with workshops about hygiene and nutrition for parents, operators and communities. Very often lack of knowledge of how to properly use local resources and about nutritional needs worsen already serious situations of malnutrition. The participation of parents, teachers and operators is essential.
A malnourished child is a child that hasn't had access to nutritious food in the 1000-day window of opportunity between the start of pregnancy and a child's second birthday and is therefore at risk of motor and cognitive delays. A serious damage for him and for his community.
Action plan of Fondazione PRO.SA:
• A professional and responsible approach that aims to obtain the maximum efficiency, in order to respond to the real needs of whose who benefit from it, both directly and indirectly.
• Recognizing the needs of local communities showing respect for their cultures, traditions and customs, promoting dialogue and collaboration with their organizations, in a culture of solidarity. Promoting development, self-determination and respect of human rights.
• Working with impartiality and in a spirit of service, with particular attention to the most vulnerable: children, women, elders and outcasts, with no distinction of sex, race, culture of faith.
Goals and purposes of action:
• Fondazione PRO.SA and its partners are interested in motivate the active participation of the local population, to promote, over time, inclusive projects than can do more than temporary help, with a specific attention for the most vulnerable groups: children, women, elders, sick and disable people.
• The realization of integrated programs is essential, with the interaction of nutrition, health system, education and formation and helping the local communities to be the main actors in their self-development.
• The action is based, exclusively, on needs, with no discriminations of race, ethnicity, religion, political view, nationality, or genre.
Project by project