Category Archives: Seminar on “Zero Hunger Challenges and Sustainable Development Goals: Harmonization with On-going Initiatives to Address Food Security Hunger and Malnutrition”: Syeda Tasnim Jannat

Seminar on “Zero Hunger Challenges and Sustainable Development Goals: Harmonization with On-going Initiatives to Address Food Security, Hunger and Malnutrition”: Syeda Tasnim Jannat

A seminar on “Zero Hunger Challenges and Sustainable Development Goals: Harmonization with On-going Initiatives to Address Food Security, Hunger and Malnutrition” was held on 01 July 2015 at the BARC Auditorium, Farmgate, Dhaka. The seminar was jointly organized by Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The key speaker of the seminar was Dr. Kostas G. Stamoulis, Director, Agricultural Development Economics Division, FAO Headquarter, Rome, Italy. Before joining FAO, Kostas was teaching Agricultural Economics at the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign. He is a Greek national, he has a PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California Berkley. Dr. Abul Kalam Azad, Executive Chairman, BARC presented the welcome address. The seminar was introduced by Dr. Mike Robson, FAO Representative in Bangladesh. The designated discussants of the seminar were Dr. Mustafa K. Mujeri, Former Director General, BIDS and Dr. Sazzad Zahir, Executive Director, Economic Research Group (ERG). The eminent economists Dr. Mirza Azizul Islam, Former Adviser to the Government; Dr. Hossain Zillur Rahman, Former Adviser to the Government and Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF also discussed on the topic in the seminar as guests of honour. Dr. Shamsul Alam, Senior Member, General Economics Division (GED), Planning Commission, Government of Bangladesh chaired the seminar. Dr. Kostas G. Stamoulis presented a seminar presentation on “Meeting International Hunger Targets: From Commitment to Action”. Dr. Kostas mentioned in his presentation that the number of undernourished people in the world in 2014-16 is 795 million and the number of undernourished people in developing countries is 780 million. He also mentioned that a decline by 167 million in the number of undernourished people was observed in the last 10 years. It was also revealed from his presentation that the highest number (281 million) of undernourished people live in South Asia followed by Sub Saharan Africa (220 million) and East Asia (145 million). He pointed out that MDG1 hunger target to halve the proportion of undernourished people between 1990 and 2015 was almost reached but the WFS goal to halve the number of undernourished people between 1990 and 2015 was missed. He also mentioned that 72 countries including Bangladesh achieved MDG1 hunger targets. Dr. Kostas mentioned in the summary of MDG1 hunger target that MDG 1c hunger target is within reach with additional efforts and MDG 1c target had already been reached in 63 countries. He also pointed out in that summary that the WFS goal will not be achieved and the WFS goal was achieved by only 25 countries. He also identified some key factors for success in reducing hunger which are rural markets, economic growth, family farming and social protection. In his presentation, it was also revealed that the poverty headcount ratio in Bangladesh was 24.5 in 2014. It was also found that in Bangladesh the number of undernourished people is 26.3 millions and the prevalence of undernourishment is 16.4% in 2014-16 and thus Bangladesh achieved the MDG1 target. Dr. Kostas observed some environmental components which enabled this success. The enabling environment for this great success comprises of high level commitments, policies, investments (financial and in capacity), governance and evidence-based decision making. Dr. Kostas listed the following points as way forward:
 Strengthen food production diversification
 Invest in public goods and services such as infrastructure
 Adapt to climate change is essential to sustain food production in a sustainable way
 Boost market-driven initiatives and community participation in Social Safety Net programmes
 Improve nutritional outcomes by strengthening the focus on program targeting
 Diversify diets while supporting local productions systems
 Enhance food safety practices; Formulate food safety regulations/standards
 Integrate FSN (Food Security and Nutrition) in all relevant policies and programmes including the new NFSNP-POA and CIP
 Strategic coordination of FSN related policies across sectors (MUCH)
 Integrate FSN, especially Nutrition in Sectoral policies and programmes (MUCH)