Public Health Experts Take On UN’s Zero Hunger Challenge
A new initiative, the Community for Zero Hunger, was launched this week. It will identify the greatest gaps that remain in reducing hunger and malnutrition, and leverage the private sector to help fill those gaps at scale.
In 2012, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched the Zero Hunger Challenge and called upon all sectors to step up the fight against hunger and malnutrition. “This is a response to that call to action,” said Nabeeha M. Kazi, Chairperson for the Community for Zero Hunger. “With more than 870 million hungry and malnourished people around the world, sustainable and multi-sectoral responses to creating a food—and nutrition—secure world are urgently needed.”
Working with a diverse group of experts, the Community for Zero Hunger team will conduct a comprehensive assessment to identify context-specific needs and gaps in the fight against hunger and malnutrition. Together with 50 companies from around the world, the Community for Zero Hunger will also identify private-sector knowledge, capabilities and experiences that could help fill those gaps in a context-appropriate manner.
“The Community for Zero Hunger’s intention is to provide information and spur collaborations that will allow us to effectively fight hunger today, and also stamp it out in the future,” said Kazi. Significant outreach will also be conducted to connect practitioners, policy makers, advocates, and researchers from across sectors as they work toward filling key gaps.
“We have to break down the silos that keep us from finding new and robust solutions to ending hunger. This new initiative creates a needed platform, where we can pool our collective knowledge, and then use it to scale up nutrition programs globally,” said Dr. Howarth Bouis, who joins the Community for Zero Hunger as a high-level Adviser. Bouis is Director of HarvestPlus, which leads a global effort to breed and disseminate nutrient-rich crops to reduce malnutrition.
The Community for Zero Hunger is a 24-month initiative whose outputs and insights will be shared via an open-access, web-based platform.
Secretary-General Ban has elevated the fight against hunger and malnutrition as a critical priority, because those who lack access to food and nutrition also lack opportunities to grow, thrive, and succeed in the long run. Ensuring a food—and nutrition—secure future for all must be at the center of a participatory global development agenda.
About the Community for Zero Hunger
Growing food and nutrition demands pose even greater challenges if unresolved. The Community for Zero Hunger was launched as an independent initiative to deliver a specific response to support the UN Zero Hunger Challenge. The Community for Zero Hunger brings together individuals and organizations unified around the common goals of ending hunger and malnutrition. Through identifying innovative, efficient, sustainable and specific solutions, the Community for Zero Hunger will provide an integrated, global response to the UN Zero Hunger Challenge. The Community for Zero Hunger focuses on a tangible outcome that will emerge by working hand in hand with UN agencies, government, academic and research institutions, the private sector, non-governmental organizations and others to build sustainable, effective responses to global food and nutrition security challenges.