The Government of Ethiopia’s National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) launched a global convening on how to provide ‘Transformative Food Assistance for Zero Hunger.’
Over 200 participants were responsible for food and nutrition security, food assistance practitioners from humanitarian and developmental organizations, donors and philanthropic bodies and food security academics.
The event focused on increasing awareness of the scope and depth of food assistance, and on developing consensuses on priorities for policy reform, institutional innovation and investment toward transformative food assistance in different contexts. Critically, the group hopes to achieve a consensus on an action plan toward the creation of a Global Centre for Transformative Food Assistance in 2020 to be based in Ethiopia.
WFP Representative and Country Director in Ethiopia, Steven Were Omamo said, “We are seizing an opportunity by convening here in Addis Ababa, and by proposing that the Global Centre is established in Ethiopia.”
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He added, “Ethiopia has a solid knowledge and track record of delivering food assistance at scale. The design and implementation of food assistance strategies are embedded within its institutions. That scale is indicative of how Ethiopia is already leveraging and influencing food systems.”
The meeting was borne out of the realization of a need for a new way to look at and address problems in the world’s food systems in order to attain the Sustainable Development Goal 2 of Zero Hunger by 2030. Currently 820 million people are chronically hungry around the world.
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The fact that 125 million are acutely hungry, meaning they lack access to enough food to live healthy lives, suggests food systems do not work in ways to meet the needs of the many.