Sustainable Development Goals Current Affairs

World’s hungry population on rise again due to conflict, climate change: UN report

According to United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2018 report, number of hungry people in world has risen for first time in more than decade. There are now approximately 38 million more undernourished people in the world, rising from 777 million in 2015 to 815 million in 2016.

The report is an overview of progress towards achieving 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDG), which consists of 17 goals and 169 targets. It was adopted at t UN Sustainable Development Summit on September 25, 2015. The deadline to meet them is 2030.

Key Highlights of report

Key Factors for rinsing Hunger: Conflict, drought and disasters linked to climate change are among the key factors causing this reversal in progress. Violent conflict is now one of the main drivers of food insecurity in 18 countries and it has led to the forced displacement of record high 68.5 million in 2017.

Improvements: The number of people living on less than $2 a day declined from 26.9% of the world’s population in 2000 to 9.2% in 2017. The mortality rate for children under five has dropped by almost 50% the least developed countries.

South Asia: The region (which also includes India) has seen child marriage rates plunge, with girl’s risk of getting married in childhood dropping by 40% from 2000 to 2017. The water stress levels for many countries in region are above 70%, indicating fast-approaching water scarcity. More than nine out of 10 people living in urban areas around world are breathing polluted air, with southern Asia scoring worst in this area. While electricity and sanitation deficits in south Asia are still poor, but efforts are being made to close the gap.

Need to achieve deadline: Just 12 years left to 2030 deadline, achieving 2030 SDG Agenda requires immediate and accelerated actions by countries along with collaborative partnerships among governments and stakeholders at all levels.

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Zero Hunger Programme to be launched in October

India’s ambitious Zero Hunger Programme through interventions in farm sector will be launched on occasion of World Food Day (October 16) with focus on agriculture, nutrition and health in a symbiotic manner.

The Programme will be initiated by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) in association with Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), MS Swaminathan Research Foundation and Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC).

Key Facts

The programme consists of organisations of farming system for nutrition, setting up genetic gardens for biofortified plants and initiation of ‘Zero Hunger’ training. A genetic garden for biofortified plants contains germplasm of naturally biofortified crops through plant breeding. It has plants and crops that help supplement micro-nutrient deficiencies, including iron, zinc, vitamin A and iodine among others.

The Programme initially will be launched in three districts – Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh), Koraput (Odisha) and Thane (Maharashtra). These three districts will act as model of integrated approach to deal with hunger and malnutrition by adopting suitable agricultural or horticultural practices.

The Programme will ensure suitable methods of measuring impact of intervention by identifying the nutritional maladies in each district and applying appropriate agricultural/horticultural and animal husbandry remedies.

This dedicated farm-based programme is in sync with India’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end hunger by 2030. It will be in addition government’s plan to deal with issue of malnutrition through various other initiatives under its goal to make India malnutrition free by 2022.

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