Q&A with David Beasley, Executive Director, World Food Programme (WFP)
World Food Day "We must have a long-term focus that is not just about food, but about helping people create stable communities with functioning, resilient marketplaces" says David Beasley of the World Food Programme Executive Director.
Is it realistic to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030?
We can achieve Zero Hunger, but we must do more to end conflict. Sixty per cent of the 821 million hungry people in the world are living in conflict zones. It’s even more tragic for children – it is estimated that 122 million of the 155 million children who are stunted live in countries affected by conflict.
The primary reason hunger is on the rise after decades of progress is conflict, and we will never reverse that if the conflicts keep occurring. Sadly, since the mid-1990s, most of the conflicts are recurrences of previous disputes. That’s why we need more comprehensive and long-term engagement from the international community that improves stability and supports people as they rebuild.
How do we fight hunger and malnutrition?
We must have a long-term focus that is not just about food, but about helping people create stable communities with functioning, resilient marketplaces. For example, in Niger, World Food Programme(WFP) has been working with several partner organisations to help more than 250,000 people in about 35 communes, or towns, with a multi-sector approach that builds resilience and stability.
Zero Hunger is not attainable without effective partnerships at every level.
More precisely, the programmes in Niger cover land regeneration and water harvesting, working with women’s groups to plant tree nurseries and community gardens and school meals through community gardens. A concerted, focused effort like this can create stability, the kind of conditions that help a family, a community and a region take care of itself.
What is the role of partnerships from private and public sectors to achieve SDG 2 to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030?
Zero Hunger is not attainable without effective partnerships at every level – non-government organisations, governments, civil society and the private sector. That long-term strategic approach I’ve mentioned needs private sector expertise. We work with the private sector on innovative new solutions, like blockchain, or in technological advancements that help us plan the scale and speed of operations. And of course, the private sector financial support also helps as well. I will also say that we need the private sector to step up more. With all the wealth in the world today, no child should go to bed hungry. There are enough resources, and enough talent, to help us end hunger.