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January 24, 2021

Food Waste Major Barrier to Poverty Reduction

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by Marie Kauna – EMTV Online, Port Moresby

Almost one third of all food produced in the world is either lost or wasted in food production and consumption systems, a report by UN’s Environment and World Resources Institute reveals.

While millions go to bed without food and die from starvation and hunger, several million tonnes of food is wasted and lost every year.

According to facts on hunger by Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), 795 million people in the world today are undernourished, while 842 million are suffering from the effects of hunger globally.

Food waste and loss occurs both in the developed and the developing nations and is mostly caused by the lack of technology, harvesting techniques, post-harvest management and marketing methods.

Its impacts negatively influence many economies and environment worldwide and today, food waste is identified to be a major barrier to poverty reduction, an important goal to achieve according to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal.

Now identified as a challenge to achieving the no poverty outcome, the challenge not only fall on NGOs, private sector and governments but individuals as well on how best one can avoid from contributing to food waste and loss.

In accordance with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal, the world aims to achieve ‘no poverty and zero hunger’ by 2030, however, achieving this outcome remains a challenge as food waste is now a leading global issue that needs thorough addressing.

UNDP, UNEP, FAO, World Bank and World Food Programme among other leading global organisations,are working together with the private sector, individuals, groups and governments to coordinate and implement innovative programmes and projects to control, monitor and minimise food waste and its impacts.

Among many implemented initiatives, some of these include the think; eat save waste food campaign (UNEP), Stop Wasting Food Initiative (Denmark), Food Waste Reduction Alliance (US), Love Food, Hate Waste (UK), Save Food from the Fridge (Netherlands), and the global initiative Save Food.

The Save Food Initiative is a global initiative for food waste and loss and has four main pillars. They are awareness raising, collaboration, policy, strategy and programme development and support to investment programmes and projects.

All these efforts are aimed at alleviating the negative humanitarian, environmental and financial effects resulting from food waste on both the developing and developed countries. Food waste is now a challenge to many worldwide.

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