Updated: Nov 3, 2018
Image Credit: Mel Green
Every now and then, I accidentally indulge in the use of the phrase “I’m starving” after having not eaten for a few hours. It usually comes after a stressful day where I’m actually not feeling that hungry at all – when I just feel like I need a little bit of comfort food.
Starvation is something which should not be taken so flippantly. With more than 1 million Australian households struggling to feed their families, hunger is a real issue in Australia.
However, Goal 2 is not only about hunger. It’s also about good nutrition. According to research by the Dietitians Association of Australia, those who lived in urban areas and experienced food insecurity were 34% less likely to eat the national daily recommended serves of fruit and 23% less likely to eat three or more servings of vegetables each day.
This poor nutrition means children are more likely to experience a decline in their ability to perform academically as well as experience increased rates of health issues such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
We see inequality in those who are hungry in Australia also. Over 20% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people live in a household which had run out of food and did not have the financial resources to buy more.
Image credit: N Sawyer
The Global Goals Australia Campaign aims to put an end to this inequality, this lack of access to enough food and this malnutrition in Australia as well as in our neighbouring countries. The Global Goals make specific reference to children under 5, adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women and older persons.On top of this, the Global Goals aim to double agricultural productivity to ensure we can keep up with a growing population and to also ensure we double the income of small-scale food producers, in particular women, indigenous peoples, family farmers, pastoralists and fishers. There is also room for researchers to shine in the Global Goals as we look for sustainable food production systems and resilient agricultural practices which not only increase productivity and production but also maintain ecosystems, strengthen capacity for adaption to climate change and extreme weather and progressively improve land and soil quality! It is also vital we maintain genetic diversity of plants and animals in the next 5 years so we can achieve all of the above.
The Global Goals also highlight the need for increased investment in rural infrastructure, agricultural research, technology development and plant and livestock gene banks in order to improve agricultural productivity in developing countries, especially our Indo-Pacific neighbours. Australia has already demonstrated progress in this through our Aid for Trade program. It is also necessary for our federal government to assist in correcting and preventing trade restrictions and distortions in world agricultural markets and adopt measures to help limit extreme food price volatility.
Image credit: Indigo Skies Photography
If Australia's commitment to lifting approximately two million people out of hunger and malnutrition sounds like something with which you would like to become involved, check out "Goal 2: Zero Hunger" and head over to our "What Can I Do?" page to see how you can become part of the solution with the Global Goals Australia Campaign!