On the occasion of World Food Day on October 16, 2023, SWISSAID reminds us that hunger has been steadily increasing instead of decreasing for several years. As the World Hunger Index 2023 (WHI) shows, 735 million people are undernourished today. That compares to 572 million in 2017. We are far from achieving Goal 2, «No Hunger», of the United Nations 2030 Agenda. In 14 countries, progress has virtually stalled, in 18 countries hunger has increased since 2015, and in 58 countries it is already clear that the 2030 goal of “No Hunger” will not be achieved. Countries in sub-Saharan Africa are particularly affected.

In addition to multiple crises (climate, war, supply chain disruptions, etc.), inadequate food systems are a major problem: in many places, they are neither sustainable nor equipped to deal with the impacts of climate change, as the WHI points out. This is where SWISSAID’s work comes in. Projects are helping local people to switch to climate-resilient, local, social and sustainable agriculture. “The projects of Agroecology make a major contribution to greater food sovereignty,” says Markus Allemann, SWISSAID Executive Director. «The challenge is great, but SWISSAID is doing everything it can with conviction to support people in the countries of the South and continues to pursue the goal of putting an end to hunger.»

Superfood: climate resilient and full of nutrients

Important elements to improving food security are knowledge and appreciation of local and climate-resilient grains and vegetables. Unfortunately, this knowledge is often forgotten and local varieties are pushed off the menu by imported products. For example, wheat has displaced millet in the production of bread and in other dishes. In order to make forgotten knowledge about local varieties public again, SWISSAID has published the brochure “Agrobiodiversity on the Plate”. The brochure highlights the diversity of cereal varieties and legumes in various countries in the South, as well as their nutritional richness and key role in food security. The recipes with superfoods contained in the booklet are also possible solutions for a diverse diet adapted to climate change. In addition, SWISSAID is promoting the CROPS4HD program program, SWISSAID promotes a more sustainable food system that improves the living conditions of the rural population.

Thematically fitting for World Food Day, we published the fifth episode of the podcast “Hungry for Solutions”: “Agroecology – the solution to hunger” (in German). This episode delves further into the topic. It clarifies how hunger can be successfully combated.


Picture material on request