Eradicating world hunger sustainably by 2030 will require an estimated additional US $267 billion per year on average for investments in rural and urban areas and in social protection, so poor people have access to food and can improve their livelihoods, a new UN report says. This would average US $160 annually for each person living in extreme poverty over the 15 year period.
Prepared by FAO, the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP), the report comes ahead of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 13 – 16 July 2015.
The report notes that despite the progress made in recent decades, today nearly 800 million people, most of them in rural areas, still do not have enough food to eat.
Eliminating chronic undernourishment by 2030 is a key element of the proposed Sustainable Development Goal – 2 of the new post-2015 agenda to be adopted by the international community later this year and is also at the heart of the Zero Hunger Challenge promoted by the UN Secretary-General.
"If we adopt a ‘business as usual’ approach, by 2030, we would still have more than 650 million people suffering from hunger. This is why we are championing an approach that combines social protection with additional targeted investments in rural development, agriculture and urban areas that will chiefly benefit the poor," said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva.
"Our report estimates that this will require a total investment of some US $267 billion per year over the next 15 years. Given that this is more or less equivalent to 0.3 percent of the global GDP, I personally think it is a relatively small price to pay to end hunger," Graziano da Silva added.
"This report helps us to see the magnitude of the challenge ahead of us, but we believe that we won’t see gains in reducing poverty and hunger unless we seriously invest in rural people," said IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze.
"Given the right kind of tools and resources, small-scale agricultural producers and rural entrepreneurs can transform struggling communities into thriving places," the IFAD President added.
"We need a dramatic shift in thinking to help the world’s poorest break the cycle of hunger and poverty by 2030. We cannot allow them to be left behind," said WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin. "We must invest in the most vulnerable and ensure that they have the tools they need not only to overcome hunger, but to enhance their resources and capabilities."
The report noted how the international community needs to build on the successful experiences of some countries that have effectively used a combination of investment and social protection to combat hunger and poverty in rural and urban areas.
In an advocacy note accompanying the report, the FAO, IFAD and WFP chiefs also noted that the Addis Ababa conference seeks to ensure that all countries, especially developing countries, have the means to implement national policies and programmes to achieve their development objectives, including the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals.