Food security in conflict: renowned experts to discuss solutions with students in Stockholm
The Swedish Institute for Global Health Transformation (SIGHT) will host this year’s Global Health Night and Einhorn-SIGHT Award Ceremony on November 22nd from 17:30 until 19:30 at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm. This edition seeks to facilitate an interdisciplinary discussion about concerns and solutions for food security in times of conflict.
Keynote speakers include Lynnette Neufeld, the Director of the Food and Nutrition Division at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and Omnia El Omrani, Youth Envoy for COP27 President. Their speeches will be followed by a panel discussion that will touch on the most crucial aspects of food security. Also, Johan Bengtsson-Palme, a researcher in environmental infections and antibiotic resistance, will receive The Einhorn SIGHT Award 2022 of SEK 100,000.
“Conflict, along with COVID-19, climate change, and soaring food prices are the major phenomena currently threatening food security. With our intersectoral event, we invite governmental and non-governmental representatives, healthcare professionals, researchers, the private sector, and students to join this event to discuss solutions towards a world free from hunger”, says Emma Bergman, SIGHT’s student coordinator and economics student at the Stockholm School of Economics.
Global action is needed now more than ever to address global food security. A United Nations (UN) report claims that between 702 and 828 million people in the world have been affected by hunger in 2021 – a 9.8% increase from 2020. This increase in global food insecurity indicates a major setback in achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal to ‘end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture’ by 2030.
Food security, according to the UN, exists when ‘all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their food preferences and dietary needs for an active and healthy life’. “Although the average food availability per person has been growing over the last years and enough food is available to feed the world population, it is not distributed equitably”, Blanca Paniello Castillo, also a student coordinator at SIGHT and public health student at Karolinska Institutet, points out. To achieve the UN’s target, a sustainable food system should produce food that is accessible to all by ensuring sufficient disposable income and livelihoods for highly vulnerable population groups that are at higher risk of suffering from food insecurity.
The phenomena that threaten food security act at different stages of the system.
- Anthropogenic climate change greatly reduces agricultural productivity, and extreme weather conditions lead to issues with food transportation, spoilage, and poor crop yield.
- Food systems are further disrupted by conflicts, like the ongoing war in Ukraine, which has severely affected the country’s agricultural production and food exports, jeopardizing both local and global food security.
- The economic turmoil brought by the COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately affecting low- and middle-income countries and further highlights the inequalities faced by these nations.
Therefore, bold actions and plans are required now to address these growing inequalities. “We do have innumerable solutions at hand to end hunger”, Castillo concludes, indicating considerations of dietary guidelines, promotion of less wasteful food production, restoration of degraded land, and further investments into the research of sustainable food systems.
“We look forward to discussing these with some of the worlds’ leading global health experts – and with you!”
The Global Health Night is a yearly event organised by the Swedish Institute for Global Health (SIGHT). Professionals and academics across all disciplines, and especially students and young professionals are encouraged to join the conversation on how to shape a food-secure and hunger-free future. A virtual option will also be provided in person announced in the social media platforms.
Press contact for attendance and interviews:
- Blanca Paniello Castillo, SIGHT Student Coordinator: email@example.com
Emma Bergman Karlsson, SIGHT Student Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org Food security in conflict: renowned experts to discuss solutions with students in Stockholm