How big companies can help to end hunger
- Impact Area
BY LAWRENCE HADDAD AND CARIN SMALLER
The number of people who go to bed hungry was rising steadily prior to the COVID-19 pandemic due to stresses related to climate, inequality and conflict, and now stands at 690 million. The pandemic has supercharged these trends. The latest UN estimates are sobering, with an additional 130 million projected to be suffering from hunger, even before the devastating pandemic numbers we are currently seeing from India and Brazil. Worse, official development assistance (ODA) efforts in agriculture and food security have not coped with the increasing challenges. Between 2008 and 2018, their share in total ODA grants decreased from 9% to 8%. By neglecting the root cause of hunger, the global community has had to increase their spending on emergency food aid (which rose by 25% over the same period). What’s more, no African country is on track to meet the commitment to allocate at least 10% of annual public expenditure to agriculture.
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