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UN Sustainability Goals -Zero Hunger

The United Nations (UN) is an international organization founded in 1945. UN currently has 193 Member Countries. The purposes and principles while founding the UN drive its work and vision now. The main goal of the UN is to maintain international peace and security, form friendly relations among nations, reach international associations, and be a center for coordinating the activities of countries.


The UN can be known as one place where the world's nations can assemble, consult common concerns, and find shared solutions. United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals, in 2015. It acts as a versatile call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity. The UN developed 17 Sustainable Development Goals and aims to achieve them by 2030. Each goal has 8–12 targets, and each target has between one and four indicators used to measure progress toward attaining the end goal. The 17 goals are combined—they realize that activity in one area will affect outcomes in others and that growth must balance social, economic, and environmental sustainability. Countries have dedicated to prioritizing progress for those who are furthest behind. The SDGs aim to end poverty, hunger, AIDS, and discrimination against women and girls. The creativity, know-how, technology, and financial resources from humankind are essential to achieve the SDGs in every context. The 17 goals include poverty, education, health, hunger, clean energy, equality, and more.


What is Sustainability?

You may hear the word sustainability everywhere now. But what does that even mean?


Sustainability means fulfilling the needs of current generations without compromising the needs of future generations while guaranteeing harmony between economic growth, environmental care, and social well-being. Having noted this factor, the UN framed the sustainability goals to enhance this earth for a better future.

Zero Hunger - Goal of UN

The UN has formed 17 Sustainability Development Goals, and the 2nd goal is Zero Hunger. The main target of this goal is to end all forms of hunger and malnutrition by 2030. It confirms that all people–especially children–have sufficient and nutritious food all year.


The aim of this goal is to put an end to hunger, attain food security, improve nutrition, and encourage sustainable agriculture. This goal also involves promoting sustainable agriculture, supporting small-scale farmers and access to land equally, technology and markets. Improving agricultural productivity necessitates international cooperation for investing in infrastructure and technology


Why Zero Hunger matter?

The growth of a sustainable environment gets obstacles due to extreme hunger and malnutrition. People cannot easily escape from this unfortunate situation. People with hunger and malnutrition are less productive. They are more prone to disease and unable to earn more and improve their livelihoods.


It is concerning that two billion individuals lack consistent access to safe, nutritious, and adequate food. In the year 2019, 144 million children under the age of five were stunted, while 47 million children were impacted by wasting.

Progress made by the UN till now

Over the last two decades, the number of undernourished individuals has seen a significant decrease of almost 50% due to the rapid economic growth and enhanced agricultural productivity.

  • Several developing nations that previously faced famine and malnutrition can now fulfill their nutritional requirements.
  • Remarkable progress has been achieved in eradicating severe hunger in Central and East Asia, as well as in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Issues That Continue to Exist

  • Regrettably, severe hunger and malnutrition significantly impede progress and growth in numerous countries.
  • As of 2017, an estimated 821 million people suffer from chronic undernourishment, often caused by environmental degradation, drought, and loss of biodiversity.
  • Over 90 million children under five are dangerously underweight. Undernourishment and severe food insecurity appear to be increasing in almost all regions of Africa and South America.


How many people go hungry?

In 2019, over 690 million individuals did not have access to basic food, primarily in Asia and Africa. Due to financial or resource-related constraints, folks experiencing moderate food insecurity face challenges in consuming a healthy and balanced diet regularly. Unless there are significant changes, it is estimated that around 840 million individuals will face hunger by 2030. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to worsen the situation even further.

  • Several developing nations that previously faced famine and malnutrition can now fulfill their nutritional requirements.
  • Remarkable progress has been achieved in eradicating severe hunger in Central and East Asia, as well as in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Why are there so many hungry people?

In addition to the prevailing famine and hunger crisis, the pandemic poses an additional threat to food systems. Civil insecurity and declining food production trigger food scarcity and high food costs.


The agriculture sector must be nurtured by investing large amounts here. It is most required to reduce hunger and poverty, improve food security, create employment, and build resilience to disasters and shocks.

Facts and Figures

  • In the year 2017, there were 821 million individuals who suffered from undernourishment.
  • Nearly 63% of the world's hungry population was in Asia in 2017.
  • In 2020, approximately 149.2 million children under five were still experiencing stunted growth.
  • More than 1 in 8 adults is obese.
  • 1 in 3 women of reproductive age is anemic.
  • 26% of workers are employed in agriculture.
  • Approximately 1 out of every 10 individuals worldwide is currently experiencing hunger.
  • In 2020, almost a third of the population does not have regular access to sufficient food.

Targets for Zero Hunger

UN has set targets to achieve this goal by 2030. The targets include,

  • Target 2.1 - By 2030, the goal is to end hunger and ensure everyone, especially the poor and infants, has access to safe and nutritious food year-round. It has two indicators
    • Indicator 2.1.1: Prevalence of undernourishment.
    • Indicator 2.1.2: Prevalence of moderate or severe food insecurity in the population, based on the Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES).

    Food insecurity is defined by the UN FAO as the "situation when people lack access to sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food for normal growth and development and an active and healthy life." The UN's FAO uses the prevalence of undernourishment as the hunger indicator.

    The FAO took inspiration from various pioneering countries in this field and extended their systems to a global level. The "Food Insecurity Experience Scale" (FIES) survey module comprises eight questions that were chosen and tested thoughtfully and have been proven to be effective in evaluating the severity of food insecurity in diverse cultural, linguistic, and developmental contexts.

    The COVID-19 pandemic caused economic shocks that resulted in 83 to 132 million people experiencing food insecurity in 2020.

  • Target 2.2 - By 2030, end all forms of malnutrition. By 2025, we aim to meet the global goals for reducing stunting and wasting in children under the age of 5. In addition, the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women and older persons will be addressed. Stunting is an indicator of severe malnutrition. The effects of stunting during a child's first 1000 days of life can have permanent consequences on their development. Stunting can severely hinder both cognitive and physical growth, affecting a person throughout their lifetime. Efforts are being made to address and reduce stunting among children.

  • Target 2.3 - By 2030, the goal is to increase the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, with a focus on women, indigenous peoples, family farmers, pastoralists, and fishers. The aim is to double their productivity and incomes. Access to land, productive resources, knowledge, financial services, markets, opportunities for value addition, and non-farm employment should be secure and equal for everyone.

    It has two indicators,

    • Indicator 2.3.1: The volume of production per labour unit by classes of farming/pastoral/forestry enterprise size.
    • Indicator 2.3.2: Average income of small-scale food producers, by sex and indigenous status.
  • Target 2.4 - By the year 2030, the goal is to establish sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that will boost productivity and increase food production. Maintaining ecosystems, building resilience to climate change, extreme weather, droughts, floods, and other disasters, and gradually enhancing the quality of land and soil are some of the benefits.

    his target has one indicator,

    • Indicator 2.4.1: Proportion of agricultural area under productive and sustainable agriculture. "Sustainable agriculture is at the heart of the 2030 Agenda". This indicator addresses issues related to agriculture. In order for a farm to truly be sustainable, it is imperative that the soil is healthy, and water is effectively managed. However, in today's world, sustainability also demands economic viability and resilience to external factors, as well as guaranteeing the well-being of farmers and all workers involved in the farm.

  • Target 2.5 – One of the goals for the year 2020 is to preserve the variety of genes found in seeds, cultivated plants, and domesticated animals, as well as their wild counterparts. This involves managing seed and plant banks at national, regional, and international levels in a responsible and diverse manner. Furthermore, it aims to ensure that the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources and traditional knowledge are fairly and equitably shared, as agreed upon internationally.

    It has two Indicators

    • Indicator 2.5.1: Number of plant and animal genetic resources for food and agriculture secured in either medium or long-term conservation facilities.
    • Indicator 2.5.2: Proportion of local breeds classified as being at risk, not-at-risk or at the unknown level of risk of extinction.

    Biodiversity is key to food security and nutrition and ensures sustainable increases in agricultural production. The rapid increase in environmental and social changes is causing threats to the diversity of both plant and animal genetic resources.

    Unlike most SDGs that have a target date of 2030, this goal is set for the year 2020.

  • Target 2. A - Increase in investment

    The plan involves

    • Increasing global collaboration in developing rural infrastructure.
    • Conducting agricultural research and extension services.
    • Advancing technology development.
    • Establishing plant and livestock gene banks.
    • These efforts aim to improve agricultural productivity in developing nations, with a particular focus on the least developed countries.


    It has two indicators,

    • Indicator 2.a.1: Agriculture orientation index for government expenditures.
    • Indicator 2.a.2: Total official flows (official development assistance plus other official flows) to the agriculture sector.

    The "Agriculture Orientation Index" (AOI) measures government support for agriculture by comparing spending to the sector's contribution to the economy. AOI > 1 indicates more spending, while AOI < 1 indicates less focus on agriculture.

  • Target 2. B – The goal is to ensure fairness in global agricultural markets by addressing trade restrictions and distortions. This involves eliminating all agricultural export subsidies and export measures that have a similar impact, in line with the Doha Development Round's mandate.

    Target 2.b. has two indicators,

    • Indicator 2.b.1: Producer Support Estimate. The Producer Support Estimate (PSE) is a way to measure the amount of money consumers and taxpayers provide to support agricultural producers each year. This support is determined by policy measures and is measured at the farm gate level, regardless of the policy's objectives or impact on farm production or income.
    • Indicator 2.b.2: Agricultural export subsidies. Export subsidies can boost the exporter's market share globally. However, they may also lead to a decrease in world market prices and instability due to unpredictable changes in subsidy levels.
  • Target 2. C - To maintain stable food commodity markets and timely access to market information, it is important to implement measures and establish food reserves to prevent extreme food price volatility.

    This target has one indicator,

    • Indicator 2.c.1 is an Indicator of food price anomalies. Food price anomalies can be measured using the domestic food price volatility index.

    These are the various targets and their indicators of the SDG-2 Zero Hunger.

Why sould I be concerned ?


Access to safe and nutritious food for our families is a universal desire. A world without hunger can significantly impact our economies, education, health, equality, and social development, making it crucial for building a better future for all. It's worth noting that hunger can hinder human development, making it difficult to achieve other sustainable development goals such as education, health, and gender equality.

How can we achieve Zero Hunger

To ensure food security, a comprehensive approach is necessary. This includes implementing social protection programs to ensure safe and nutritious food is available, particularly for children. Additionally, transforming our food systems is crucial to creating a more sustainable and inclusive world.


Investing in both rural and urban areas to provide social protection is necessary to ensure that impoverished individuals have access to food and can improve their livelihoods.

What can we do to help?


Supporting local farmers and markets is an effective way to make positive changes in your life, home, workplace, and community. By making sustainable food choices, promoting good nutrition, and reducing food waste, you can contribute to the goal of achieving Zero Hunger. As a consumer and voter, you have the power to demand that businesses and governments prioritize this cause. Join the conversation either on social media platforms or in your local communities to make a difference. By acting on the above points, you can bring your commitment to achieving the goal by 2030. By acting on the above points, you can bring your commitment to achieving the goal by 2030.