As the United Nations aims for "zero hunger" by 2030 (Goal no. 2 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals), guaranteeing equal access to healthy and nutritious food for every human being remains a major challenge. Nearly 800 million people around the world suffer from hunger while, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, over 2 billion people have to contend with malnutrition and chronic food insecurity.
The economic and inflationary impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic are still apparent (higher prices for agricultural raw materials and disruption to supply chains), geopolitical factors are weighing heavily (wars and conflicts in Ukraine, Yemen, Ethiopia and Sudan, etc.) and climate shocks are intensifying (droughts in Pakistan and the Mediterranean, for example).
“Food security is a challenge that requires the active engagement of the international community and closer cooperation between private and public stakeholders - be they governments, international organisations, civil society, public or private companies, the agriculture sector, cooperatives or financial institutions”, claims Francoise Lombard, Chief Executive Officer of Proparco in the editorial of this issue.
Against this backdrop, the private sector needs to be more involved, both in responding to emergency situations and, going forward, in guaranteeing food security for as many people as possible.
This issue uses contributions from key players and experts to highlight the need for greater involvement of the private sector in guaranteeing food security worldwide.