Topic: Diet & NutritionNutrition

Last updated: July 27, 2019

The food security (FS) and quality of life (QOL) of the global community form part of the global development goals. They are part of the central issues and challenges in most countries. These two concepts are also a goal that governments wish to attain for their communities.

Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to su?cient safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life (FA0, 2009). On the other hand, quality of life (QOL) is defined by the World Health Organization (1997) as “an individual purpose-aligned cultural and value system by which a person lives, relative to their aims, hopes, living standards and interests”.The Millennium Development goals (MDGs) were an initiative that brought the global community together in the beginning of the current millennium.

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The purpose was to alleviate poverty and improve the quality of life of the most disadvantaged. Since the existence initiation of these goals, most countries especially the poorest have adopted them as a framework for monitoring local, national and regional development progress. The global community has gained greatly from the MDGs and millions of lives have been improved (United Nations, 2015)According to the United Nations (2016) the MDGs reached their deadline in 2015, and then the Sustainable development goals (SDGs) were introduced to build on the MDGs and ensure sustainable social and economic and environmental development. The agenda of the SDGs areis universal and aims to bring transformation by attempting to end poverty and build a more sustainable world over the next 15 years. Sustainable Development goals Report 2016The United Nations (2018) also stated that the SDGs make use of partnerships and to practically implement programmes that will improve quality of life in a sustainable way, for the current and future generations. They provide clear guidelines and targets for all countries to adopt in accordance with their own challenges and the environmental challenges of the world at large.

The SDGs accommodate most challenges that the global community is facing. They place great emphasis on tackling the root causes of poverty and bring the world together to make a positive change on the quality of life for both people and planet. The 17th goal of the SDGs stipulates that achieving the ambitious targets of the 2030 Agenda requires a robust and enhanced global partnership that connects all stakeholders; governments, civil society, the private sector, the United Nations system and other actors, mobilizing mobilising all available resources. This support system is mostly imperative for developing countries, in particular the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States to enable progress for all. The United Nations is part one of the partners supporting countries on the implementation of the SDGs (United Nations, 2016).According to Stephens et al. (2018), since the release of the SDGs in 2015, the United Nations and other organizations have continued to put food security as a top priority of the great challenges facing the world.

The MDGs target 1C (‘Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger’), was replaced in the SDGs emphasizing that not just hunger, but also sustainability and nutrition, Sustainable Development Goal 2 (‘end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture’). The African countries are also making use of the SDGs to address their challenges, as food security and nutrition are a priority of the continent’s development agenda. (FAO, 2017). Africa is known to be a low-incomepoor continent and the challenge of food security is highly prevalent. While Africa is a continent rich in both natural and human resources, it remainsis still up till now one of the world’s poorest continents with very slow development. This is a result of famines caused by insufficient food production due to the drought and land degradation that affect the productivity of agricultural land, and threaten food security in many African countries. The continent has had achievements in the last decade, such as high economic growth rates, yet hunger is still one of the biggest challenges faced by the continent (Samar, 2014).As a result of the MDGs, there were also some achievements in poverty alleviation.

In sub -Saharan Africa, the proportion of undernourished declined from 28.1% in 2000 to 20.6% percent in 2010, and the number of undernourished decreased from 178 million to 171 million over the same period.

However, after 2010 the rate of undernourishment remained constant and then increased to about 22.7% in 2016, while the number of undernourished might have reached 224 million. In terms of prevalence of undernourishment, sub-Saharan Africa has the highest level of all regions in the world (FAO, 2017).According the FAO (2017), in 2016, the number of undernourished people in the world increased to an estimated 815 million, up from 777 million in 2015 but still down from about 900 million in the year 2000. Similarly, while the prevalence of undernourishment is projected to have increased to an estimated 11 percent in 2016, this is still well below the level of a decade ago. Nonetheless, the recent increase is cause for great concern and poses a significant challenge for international commitments to end hunger by 2030. There is also the challenge of the increasing population, as a result, addressing food security requires an ability to deal with increasing food shortages for a rapidly growing population.

With a predicted increase of 1.7 billion people between now and 2050, there is great pressure on the decreasing resources to produce enough food (Mcarthy et al., 2018).


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