Singapore is cheap. This is something you will not hear from many tourists who go to visit the popular island state. As such, the fact that Singapore has one of the most affordable food prices in the world may be a little hard to “swallow” at first.Nevertheless, this is exactly what the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) revealed in its recent Global Food Security Index published on 9 December.
There are approximately 124 million people around the world who suffer from acute hunger. According to the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2018 report, without intervention, 50 countries will fail to achieve the United Nation’s (UN) Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of zero hunger by 2030.
In early May, Muslims across the globe will be celebrating Ramadhan. During this holy month, Muslims will abstain from a number of things from sun up to sun down, most notable of all will be any form of food or drink. One of the main reasons Islam requires its followers to undergo this month-long fast is to remember the pains and troubles of the less fortunate who may not be able to afford a single meal everyday let alone three meals a day.
From farm to fork, the international community is facing growing challenges in eradicating hunger and malnutrition. And yet while some parts of the world are obviously better endowed than others in terms of climate, soil, water, and geography, there is plenty of food to go around. So why is food insecurity a problem for so many people in so many countries?What is missing are conditions ensuring that healthy and nutritious food can reach those who need it.
The global population is expected to hit eight billion in 12 years. By 2050, that number will reach nine billion. ASEAN could hold the key to feeding this unprecedented number of people but only if its member countries can look beyond domestic political survival. While regional shot-callers are quick to sign multilateral agreements, the work that actually makes a difference involves engaging with 600 million or so people who live in rural areas.