Editor's Note [Volume 21 No. 8 (2021)]

The United Nations Food Systems Summit- September 2021-With so many thrown into abject poverty by COVID-19, how do we target amidst diminishing resources? Is zero hunger achievable by 2030?

The UNFSS, the people’s summit is here. It has been highly anticipated, receiving huge publicity, and being interpreted in all manner of ways in terms of what it hopes to achieve. We have been told of how it is all-inclusive, and that it is not an end in itself, but that it marks the beginning of action, real action. The idea is to have everyone internalize this, to feel involved, to partner just as enshrined in Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 17 -Partnerships. All these SDGs are interlinked. They are all relevant, just as Njeri Karanu has described in her Commentary in this issue. The world was making some progress, little, towards the elimination of hunger from our midst. Then COVID-19 came. Things have become murky. More people have fallen through the cracks. The ones we see in our work are desperate, and the resources we receive to serve the most vulnerable are limited. We can cater for only a quarter of them or less. We are seeing this in real-time. What does one do? This month’s Food Systems Summit is supposed to inspire hope. But more than that, it is supposed to encourage partnerships to mobilize much-needed resources. We cannot fight hunger without resources. We cannot help the most vulnerable without resources. We cannot feed the hungry without resources. We cannot save vulnerable under-fives from starvation without resources. COVID-19 has driven poor countries and many individuals to the brink of economic collapse. To make things worse, natural calamities: floods, droughts, hurricanes, volcanoes erupting, and so on. These have rattled the world, causing major economic losses. “In terms of population, it is estimated that between 720 and 811 million people in the world faced hunger in 2020. Considering the middle of the projected range (768 million), 118 million more people were facing hunger in 2020 than in 2019, with estimates ranging from 70 to 161 million. The numbers show enduring and troubling regional inequalities. About one in five people (21 percent of the population) was facing hunger in Africa in 2020 – more than double the proportion of any other region.”

- https://www.wfp.org/publications/2021-state-food-security-and-nutrition-world-report-and-inbrief

I am not sure what will come out of the UNFSS, but all I know is that we must do something in the vulnerable regions of the world, Africa being top on this list, world leaders in all fields: political, private sector, scientists must act to avoid more catastrophes. We cannot afford to be as individualistic as we have been during this pandemic. We all need each other.

Please enjoy our latest issue of AJFAND. It has 10 vigorously reviewed articles, an interesting commentary, a write-up by a brilliant intern we have with us right now, and a profile of one of our young reviewers.

We also have more congratulatory messages on our 20th year Celebration.

We thank all those that have contributed to this release.

Ruth Oniang'o
Editor-in-Chief, AJFAND


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