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Social protection must to end hunger

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  17 Oct 2015 12:00 AM GMT

By Ranjan K Baruah

We are aware that every individual has a fundamental right to be free from hunger and the right to adequate food. The right to adequate food is realized when every man, woman and child has the physical and economic access at all times to adequate food or means for its procurement. Though extreme poverty has been reduced in last few years or decades but poverty and hunger is still seen in many parts of the world. Millions of children die due to malnourishment. 4 in 10 children in poor countries are malnourished, causing damage to their bodies and brains. Sixty percent of the hungry in the world are women.

After the launch of Millennium Development Goals, its Goal 1 to eradicate poverty has achieved some milestones, but it could not fulfill all its target by 2015. Forty countries have already achieved the first target which is to halve the proportion of people who suffer from hunger by 2015. In addition, over the past 20 years, the likelihood of a child dying before age five has been nearly cut in half, which means about 17,000 children are saved every day. Extreme poverty rates have also been cut in half since 1990. There are many things to achieve as there are more challenges, but with time this has to be overcome, else it would be shame on mankind if someone dies out of hunger at the present time.

World Food Day (WFD) is a day of action against hunger. On October 16, people around the world come together to declare their commitment to eradicate hunger in our lifetime. World Food Day celebrates the creation of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United tions (FAO) on October 16, 1945 in Quebec, Cada. First established in 1979, WFD has since then been observed in almost every country by millions of people.

The 2015 World Food Day theme is "Social Protection and agriculture: breaking the cycle of rural poverty". Social protection has been chosen as the theme of this year's WFD to highlight its importance in reducing rural poverty and granting access to food or means to buy food. Social protection can be defined as a range of solutions, often combined with each other - such as work opportunities, provision of food, money and services - that are designed to support the vulnerable and help the poor in society move out of hunger and poverty.

Social protection boosts family income and food security - by providing income (cash) or consumption (food) transfers. Social protection helps children stay in school - by ensuring basic family incomes so children don't need to work to fill the gap. Access to social protection helps people to mage the social and economic risks and environmental threats they are exposed to. Through direct income support to the most vulnerable households, social protection helps alleviate extreme poverty and overcome food insecurity.

If properly designed, social protection tends to benefit women and promotes their economic and social empowerment. Similarly, it can also benefit children and youth, as social protection helps improve nutrition and health outcomes ismuch as household income security allows young people to stay in school longer, and cash for work programmes help enhance employment opportunities for youth. FAO is committed to support governments and partners in addressing the main challenges for incorporating social protection into tiol strategies and actions to fight hunger and in promoting greater policy coherence and synergies between social protection, food and nutrition security, agricultural development, tural resource magement and rural poverty reduction.

Right to food is a basic right for individuals and everyone has the right to get food. Over last few years things are also changing amongst different governments. In India, right to food has been a demand by many civil society organisations. There are guidelines related to right to food. Together we can make the world free from hunger and we have to start from our locality. We can be part of right to food campaign and other activities to make sure that no one lives in hunger. WFD tells us that we have to be active and think on the issue so that we can make the world free from hunger. IANS

(Inputs from FAO publication and feedback may be sent to bkranjan@gmail.com)

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