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Food Security Defined By The Fao

Food security, defined by the FAO, is “when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.” In order to achieve food security, nations must have a stable and sustainable food supply, the affordability and distribution of food for citizens, food that meet the nutritional needs of the citizens as well as storage and cooking of meals. Dating back to before WW1, hunger and malnutrition has been a major worldwide problem and was a concern in the framework of the League of Nations which addressed the need to stop food insecurity. Food security has been considered an ongoing problems because in extreme cases it causes people to be able to function and can even be fatal. 7.6 million people die annually because of hunger or a hunger-related cause. As of 2017, one out of every nine people – around 821 million people – in the world did not have access to enough food to lead healthy lives. 770 million people were considered to be suffering from severe food insecurity. This number is expected to increase as the projected 2050 global population is estimated to be 34% higher than it is today, 9.1 billion. In order to suffice for the growing population , food production would have to increase by 70%. In 2011, 45% of all child deaths were caused by undernutrition. Annually, 113 nations are scored from 0 to 100 by a Global Food Security score which considers affordability, availability, quality, safety and natural resources of each nation and ranked. In 2018’s Global Food Security Index, Singapore was the ranked first with a score of 85.9. Food insecurity severity is classified by IPC (Integrated Food Security Phase Classification) ranging from 1, minimal, to 5, famine. The description of minimal is that more than four out of five households are able to meet food necessities without any assistance while famine is at least one out of five households have an extreme lack of food to the point where starvation or death are occuring. Asia is the most malnourished continent with 512 million people eating too little calories, but taking into account of the population Africa has a higher percentage of its population, 27.4%, being severely food insecure as opposed to Asia’s 12%. Developing nations especially those in Africa are the most susceptible to food insecurity largely due to their meager production of food and further affected by the nations’ poverty, economic fluctuation and political instability. Changes in climate and environment, food-borne illnesses, conflicts and poor infrastructure are evident causes of food insecurity in developing nations. Due to extreme drought, Somalia had one of the four most severe food crises of 2017. In 2017, 1 out of every four Somalis, over 3.1 million people, fell between IPC Phase 3 and Phase 4, which meant that the people were in crisis or emergency level food insecurity and were suffering high acute malnutrition and excess mortality. Political instability in Yemen has resulted in war to break out within the nations and disrupt the Yemenis’ ability to get food. Yemen is currently the nation with the largest food security emergency in the world with IPC levels ranging from Phase 3 to Phase 5. 17 million Yemenis were estimated to be IPC Phase 3 or higher in 2017. Al Hudaydah and Al Saleef ports, which supplies the nation 70% of their food, were forced to be closed in late 2017 making it hard for humanitarian aid, food, and supplies to enter the nation.

Group of 77 is a intergovernmental organization created in 1964 when the “Joint Declaration of the Seventy-Seven Developing Countries” was signed by 77 developing nations at the UN Geneva Conference on Trade and Development. It was created with the purpose of providing countries of the South to have individual economic interests and improve the negotiation of international economic problems. In 2011, on behalf of G-77 and China, Minister Marcelo Suárez Salvia of Argentina spoke at the UN on Agricultural Development and Food Security in New York. He addressed how hunger needs to be solved for any other Millennium Development Goals to be achieved specifically in developing nations. He emphasized the fact that distribution and neglect of sustainable agriculture have disrupted the improvement of food security in developing nations.

The UNOSSC, South-South cooperation is an unit within the UNDP which promotes cooperation between developing countries to improve the lives of developing countries to assist each nations developmental priorities through the Global Three-In-One Multilateral Support. The first pillar is the Global South-South Development Academy which is an online library of Southern development solutions. The second pillar is Global South-South Development Expo which brings light to the successful development solutions while the third pillar, the South-South Global Assets and Technology Exchange, spreads the solutions through the internet and physically to insure that nations can cooperate with other nations to provide them with the solutions best fit for each nation. In 2016, the main focus of the Global South-South Development Expo was on the cooperation on Agricultural Development and Food Security where Algerian, Hungarian, Moroccan and developing nations’ ministers of agriculture discussed solutions on how SSC can solve the problem.

The FAO is a specialized UN agency that works internationally to eliminate hunger, malnutrition and poverty and insure food security for the global community. A project that the FAO had focused on in 2015 was food security capacity building in which targets intervention that is designed to specifically assist crisis ridden countries. The project was funded by ECHO, the Humanitarian Aid department of the EU, and concentrated main problems such as seeds. The FAO had entered Chad, Niger, Kenya, and South Sudan in 2014 to perform Region training workshop which trained regional level experts how to perform in-country seed security assessments. The assessments determined whether the security of seed systems were safe enough for the system to be able to produce adequate supplies of food. In Yemen, the FAO had rehabilitated the basic technology for agriculture, livestock, and fishery research facilities to increase the capacity of information and develop better agricultural practices. They also provided support for rural communities and farms by introducing innovative productions, productivity gains and eliminated epidemic diseases such as TB.

A/RES/72/238 was passed on December 2017 stating agricultural development is still an important issue that will not likely be solved like hoped when including it into the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its goals. It also acknowledged the commitments to the Decade of family farming and called for an expansion of research on food to strength agriculture.

On January 19, 2018, the General Assembly adopted A/RES/72/239 which established 2019-2028 as the United Nations Decade of Family Farming with the FAO and International Fund for Agricultural Development in charge of implementing activities working towards the ultimate goal of achieving food security. This succeeds the previous successful International Year of Family Farming implemented in 2014.

A/RES/71/245 was passed by the General Assembly in December 2016 without a vote emphasizing how agricultural production and food security are a key role for nation to be able to escape poverty and stress the role of women in food security as their knowledge of agriculture can improve food security.

S/RES/2417 is a resolution adopted by the Security Council in which the nation urged arm conflicts to avoid anything that is necessary for civilian survival such objects necessary for food production as in farms, water systems, and food processing sites. It also condemn the use of depriving people of food as warfare because it is considered torture and violates the international humanitarian law.

In the Ministerial Declaration written by the Group of 77 in 2018, it addressed food security in four of its points. In point 42, the ministers acknowledged and praised the creation of the United Nations Decade of Family Farming from 2019 to 2028. In point 124, the ministers welcomed G-77’s interaction in the “Women’s Economic Empowerment and Financial Inclusion” discussion in June 2018 as it highlighted how women’s economic empowerment will increase the development of food security. In point 153, it recalled the importance of protecting the oceans as they are a large component of the ecosystem which is critical for food security. Point 159 stated how sustainable use of marine biodiversity allows nations to benefit in terms of food security.

Action against Hunger is an NGO working to eliminate world hunger by providing aid to nations in need. In 2017, 189,751 children and women were screened for acute malnutrition in Somalia by the Action against Hunger NGO. In Somalia, Action against Hunger had restored 38 water points, brought 40,590 cubic meters of clean water for the communities to use and provided 112,540 access to food.

The Republic of Austria fully supports the assistance of worldwide achievement of food security. Austria has been able to overcome the issue of food security as seen with its Global Food Security Index ranking of 13 out of 113 and Food Security of 82.1. Although Austria is a more food secure nation, they still have programs in place to insure that the nation remains a front-runner of food security. The government of Austria created the OkoKauf Wien (EcoBuy Vienna) program which insures that the food consumed in Austria are cleared after undergoing high standards to ensure sustainability. Since Austria is not a food insecure nation, they have been able to focus their ambitions on food quality with a push towards excluding genetically modified organisms.

In the 1970s, Austria concentrated on the FAO framework specifically the seed sector. Austria believes that seed improvement is one of the most efficient ways of production and enables the cooperation between nations to create the best systems. Currently, Austria actively provides resources and support to crisis and emergencies through the FAO. Austria has partaken in emergency agriculture-based livelihoods restoration in regards to floods in Mozambique. In Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Austria had helped develop home gardening to avoid the food insecurity caused by natural hazards. Also through the FAO, Austria has restored production capacity in Peruvian communities that were affected by floods.

The Austrian Integration and Foreign Affairs had partnered with the Federal Ministry for Europe to establish the Austrian Development Agency in 2004. It creates long-term programs and projects improve Austria itself and developing nation specifically to reduce poverty. In a recent project started in January 2018 with an expected end in 2021, titled Economic Empowerment of Young Women And Men In Zimbabwe, aims to achieve food security and promote sustainable agriculture as well reducing poverty. The project targets 11 schools, 600 group members of community garden, 500 producers and members of the four main irrigation systems. 1000 farmers are expected to receive help in commercializing the production of small cereals. Some of the activities that are being worked on are capacity development for smallholders in livestock, cereal and vegetable production and linking them to sustainable markets to sell within the nation. They have already started working with the communities in the city of Zvishavane. The Agency has also worked in Mozambique with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to provide equipment to natives who train to assist farmers improve the production of crops. With this support, United Women of Maronde, an agricultural association, was able to increase the potato production while still utilizing environmentally friendly ways of cultivation. The ADA provide farmers with seeds and storage facilities like silos and constructed small irrigation systems that improved the productivity of the farm. Unexpectedly, the irrigation system had also decreased the amount of deaths caused by animal attacks that were present when the people had to the river to get water.

Austria had voted Yes on A/RES/72/238, which emphasized Family Farming and research for improvement to the development of sustainable food systems.

For S/RES/1958, Austria has voted Yes to the closing of the “Oil-for Food” Program as the measure has been expired. This was an attempt to help the citizens of the nation with humanitarian aid as well as provide nutritious food to communities that did not have access to food. It also attempted to urge Iraq to sign agreements that will invalidate the negative claims that Iraq have against the UN.

Seeing that 15 to 20 % of all animal proteins come from the marine ecosystem and 28.5 million people get an income from fisheries, Austria finds it essential for nations to pay more attention to protecting the marine waters and access fish through sustainable means. Therefore, Austria would like to introduce the Blue Carbon Agriculture Systems to enhance fishery productivity in the coast waters. The system utilizes the natural blue carbon ecosystems to filtering contaminants from the water to provide healthier water quality which will in response increase the quality of the fish and food. Blue carbon ecosystems consist of mangroves, tidal marshes, and seagrass which all sequestrate large amounts of carbon from the marine waters. In nature, mangroves usually act as a nursery ground for commercial fishes, prawns, and crabs. This solution would implement the three aquatic plants along the coast to increase food production by reducing carbon dioxide in the environment. Coastal developing nations may able to use mangroves as a nursery for fisheries and communities to utilize as well as benefit from the small climate change reversal processes due to the carbon sequestration. Not only will this solution improve the productivity of food under water, but it will also improve the on-land food production. Mangroves store two to four times more carbon than normal tropical rainforests store. Increasing CO2 levels reduce the nutritional value of food crops as it reduces the concentrations of protein and essential minerals in most plant species. This decreases food security as it lowers nutrition, therefore this solution of Blue Carbon Ecosystems would benefit food security by making the food consumed more nutritious. The Mangrove Action Project has already contributed towards increasing the usage of mangroves along the coast of Bangladesh and provided funding for nations to develop knowledge on mangroves. The Mangrove Fund will be able to fund the acquisition of mangrove in coastal waters.

Roadblock: The cost of implementing these plant habitations along the coast may be to expensive for developing nations. However, mangrove restoration costs can be as low as $225 per hectare. Treesisters have accounted for small mangroves to cost as little as 10 cents to plant per tree.

To address the risks that natural disasters face on food security, Austria encourages the creation of a Disaster Relief agreement that will focus mostly on protecting food supplies and ensuring that victims of the natural disasters have the food that they need to survive. It is a natural disaster triggered insurance pool between the nations that collaborate with the organization. In this form, if natural disasters obliterate the food supply of a nation, other members of the organizations would provide aid to restore the nation’s food supply and productivity. Action teams will enter the troubled nation and travel through the communities to provide fresh water and food to account for the ruined spoiled food that the citizens are left with after disasters. As more nations partner with the organization, each nation would only have to provide minimum resources to recover the victim nation’s food system. This can be implemented in all countries as all they do become a member state and provide some assistance to nations that are in need, then they get the reinsurance that they will be protected by the signed member states. This will be overlooked by the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction. Nations have already worked to provide aid for disaster-ridden nations, however this solution will provide the nations with a specific organization to organize the specific assistance required in what regions.

Roadblock: Some nations may say that previous organizations and discussions have been performed on the topic of ensuring food aid after natural disasters, however they have been inefficient on ensuring long-term assistance to protect food security like this solution targets.

Taking into account the growing population and growing numbers of mouths to feed, Austria would like to propose the usage of crop rotations. Crop rotations is the practice of growing a series of different types of crops in the same area after seasons of harvesting. With crop rotation, the vegetation of one season that relies on a certain nutrition with absorb as much of the nutrition as possible while the next season a new crop will enter to fully absorb a different nutrition that the new crop requires. This insures that the soil is not completely depleted of nutrients that will halt the crop from growing. Crop rotation works as a long-term solution that will allow nations to conduct sustainable ways of agricultural growth and productivity. Crop rotations will enlist crop calendars to ensure that crops are rotated on a regular bases and plan for which crops to sow after the previous plants have been harvest to ensure that there will be no overlapping of essential nutrient needed. This will take in account the climate which may change the soil composition in favor or against certain crops during certain periods of time.

Roadblock: All farms may not be able to rotate crops as they don’t have the means to produce other types of vegetation. Therefore, the solution will work with the FAO to establish sustainable seed systems to provide farmers with seeds of multiple variety that will work in the specific region.

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I’m a freelance writer with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Boston University. My work has been featured in publications like the L.A. Times, U.S. News and World Report, Farther Finance, Teen Vogue, Grammarly, The Startup, Mashable, Insider, Forbes, Writer (formerly Qordoba), MarketWatch, CNBC, and USA Today, among others.

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