Delegate Name: Sarah Zaruba
One of the fundamental keys to survival is having access to nutritious food. While significant strides have been made in expanding access to healthy food, millions of people, predominantly in low-income regions, are still deprived of this basic necessity. Globally, nearly 30% of the population is still food insecure, and from 2019 to 2022, this number grew to as many as 350 million, a crisis driven largely by conflict, climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic (FOA). Many organizations have aided in the effort to decrease the amount of lives affected, but this percentage will only increase if action is not taken. This topic is vital because when more people have access to basic nutrients, it will positively impact economies, health, education, and social development (UN). However, a lack of food would lead to negative consequences such as illnesses linked to hunger, various chronic diseases, a lack of nutrients, and political crises such as protests, fights, and strikes. These effects have already been seen globally, and they need to come to an end.
Guatemala’s work on food instability and political crisis is linked to the Sustainable Development Goal 2 which is work for zero hunger. Guatemala is currently one of the most unequal countries in Latin America, with two-thirds of the population living on less than two dollars each day. This poverty unfairly affects the country’s people, with eighty percent of the population experience deprivation in multiple aspects of their lives such as food insecurity, nutrition, health, and education. The country deals with extreme weather, including excessive flooding and drought, which are complete opposites of each other. The dry region of Guatemala has exhausted their basic grain stocks due to localized production shortfalls, increasing household dependence on markets for food needs. Guatemala is currently working with the World Food Program in order to reduce food insecurity and malnutrition. Because of our work towards SDG 2, WFP has supported government efforts to help with droughts, which is linked to the production of crops.
Guatemala urges that the UNDP take action to reduce food insecurity, and hopefully put an end to it. This would involve promoting sustainable agriculture, supporting small-scale farmers and equal access to land, technology and markets. It requires international cooperation to ensure investment in infrastructure and technology to improve agricultural productivity (UNDP).