September 16, 2019
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 In Food Instability and Political Crises

Country: Philippines
Delegate Name: Abigail Eyke

According to the FAO, an estimated 30% of the global population were considered moderately or severely food insecure as of last year. An individual is considered food insecure when they lack access to adequate food that promotes growth, development, and a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, food insecurity often leads to political turmoil because the people cannot depend on or trust the government, making them more likely to take action through uprisings, strikes, and demonstrations, further disrupting food supply, and the public’s trust in the government

In 2000, the United Nations created the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to fight poverty. These have produced the most successful anti-poverty movement in history. The MDG target of reducing the proportion of people living in extreme poverty by half was achieved in 2010, 5 years ahead of the deadline. As a result, this also dropped the proportion of undernourished people living in developing regions fell almost by half. With this success, the UN is now shifting its focus to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with the goal of ending hunger, achieving food security, and improving nutrition and sustainable agriculture by 2030. The UN secretary general also started the zero hunger challenge to provide children with adequate nutrition.

Fermin Adriano, the Philippine’s former Department of Agriculture undersecretary for policy stated in September of 2022 that the Philippines will soon suffer from a food crisis. This is a result of typhoons, flash floods, transportation challenges, lack of infrastructure, climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, and a reduction in food importations from Ukraine and Russia. These have caused food shortages and a sharp increase in food prices, further endangering vulnerable citizens in the Philippines, leading to political turmoil as the people take action through uprisings, strikes, and demonstrations.

To fix these issues, the president Bongbong Marcos has appointed himself as the nations Agriculture Secretary and plans to implement “strategic agriculture measures” immediately. He plans to strengthen the nation’s agricultural center and shift away from reliance on food imports from other countries as the Philippines is the most food-insecure country in Asia due to its reliance on imported food from countries such as Ukraine and Russia. Marcos plans on leading the Department of Agriculture until food security is restored. He stated that food sufficiency and efforts to coordinate food supply must be given priority. Marcos also ordered agriculture officials to implement a farm-to-market masterplan in order to promote food security. He also plans on supporting agriculture by trading with other countries to buy cheaper fertilizer to help the country’s high prices.

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