On October 16th, 1945, the United Nations founded the Food and Agriculture Organization. In honor of the date, the UN dedicated it to the celebration of World Food Day. It is concerned with food security, including the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Programme. World Food Day was first established in November 1979 by FAO’s Member Countries at their 20th General Conference. Since then, it has been celebrated in more than 150 countries around the world, raising awareness of the problems behind hunger and poverty.
Poverty and hunger issues in Peru
Malnutrition and chronic hunger are some of the problems that Peru has battled for many years. Lack of access to education, gender inequality, and high rates of poverty have contributed to hunger-related issues which are more prevalent among the indigenous, rural populations in Peru. About 52% of those living below the line of extreme poverty are indigenous, and about 45% of their total population is indigenous.
The indigenous populations have been marginalized and isolated. The unequal resource distribution, lack of formal education, and lack of access to fresh water have led to malnutrition and chronic hunger. However, there has been much progress in addressing these issues, which means that there is hope for those in need.
Peru is successfully addressing the issues of hunger and poverty
In the last 20 years, Peru has experienced much progress when it comes to solving problems of extreme hunger and poverty. The UN set forth the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) to improve the living conditions of the poorest populations. Some of these goals include:
- Achieving universal primary education
- Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger
- Promoting gender equality and
Some of the objectives have already been met, and as for others, we can say that Peru has made significant progress. The rates of infant mortality and malnutrition are decreasing because of a mindset shift across the country as well as consistent economic growth, expansion of social programs, and investments in health, education, and infrastructure. Chronic child malnutrition has cut in half, but the rates still vary among regions. Among indigenous people in the Amazon and Sierra regions, the rates peak at 33% and have not decreased in the past ten years.
People in rural areas still live below the poverty line
About 22% of the population in Peru (mostly in rural areas) still live below the poverty line, experiencing deep food insecurity. Their access to nutritious food is limited, and this issue is at the root of nutritional problems in the country (such as anemia which affects the poorest sectors of society.)
Despite all these challenges, Peru is progressing and is well-positioned to be among the first countries to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 2 (Zero Hunger). With a joined and concerted effort of all the main actors of society, including the media, the private sector, government institutions, and central opinion-formers, achieving these goals is possible.
Gastronomy and food traditions play an essential role in Peru’s national identity. That’s why the World Food Programme is leveraging their power to establish new partnerships between private companies, government entities, professionals, the media, civil society groups, and international agencies.
If you want to experience Peru and their rich food traditions during your stay feel free to