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GHI scores are not calculated for most high-income countries, yet in many, food insecurity is still a pressing concern for significant portions of the population, particularly in the face of extraordinary crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the pandemic, an extraordinary outbreak of desert locusts is threatening food security in East Africa and Southwest Asia this year.
Furthermore, these projections do not account for the impacts of the COVID19 pandemic, which may worsen hunger and undernutrition in the near term and affect countries’ trajectories into the future.
The focus of this year’s special essay by Robyn Alders, Osman Dar, Richard Kock, and Francesco Rampa is on how to make our food systems more resilient to shocks, protect the most vulnerable, and transform the post–COVID-19 world of food and nutrition.
The events of 2020 have shown that our food systems are unfair and inadequate in ways that are impossible to ignore. But, by taking an integrated approach to health and food and nutrition security, experts believe it may be possible to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030. A ‘One Health’ approach could help avert future health crises, restore a healthy planet and end hunger.
This approach is based on a recognition of the interconnections between humans, animals, plants and their shared environment, as well as the role of fair trade relations. It focusses on increasing sustainable practices in agriculture and improving the overall health of humans, animals and the environment – rethinking how we produce, process, distribute and consume our food, as well as reduce food loss and waste.
The 2020 GHI has highlighted the need to fundamentally reshape our food systems to be fair, healthy, resilient, and environmentally friendly – and a One Health approach could be transformative.
The current crises must serve as a turning point not only to transform our food systems but to end the daily scourge of hunger - the greatest moral and ethical failure of our generation.