The number of people suffering from chronic hunger has risen since 2014, while at the same time tons of food, as well as the natural resources and energy needed to grow and transport it are wasted every day. According to FAO and UNEP, an estimated 14 percent of all food produced for human consumption is lost from production up to the retail level and 17 percent is wasted at the retail and consumption levels each year. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the situation, with the disruption of value chains. Action on different fronts is required to address these issues to reduce food loss and food waste and make better use of the food we produce. This is critical to reaching Zero Hunger and SDG target 12.3 and will contribute to advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a whole.
This year, the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste will make a call for public and non-state actors to prioritize actions and redouble efforts to use innovation to reduce food loss and waste, restoring and building back better more efficient, inclusive, sustainable and resilient agri-food systems.
As part of the global celebrations of the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste, the Permanent Mission of Andorra to the United Nations, the Permanent Mission of San Marino to the United Nations, UNEP, FAO and ITU are partnering to bring together Member States, UN entities and non-state actors at a New York-based virtual event that will highlight innovative initiatives to fight food loss and waste along the value chain, including through the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).
The introduction of innovative solutions, powered by ICTs across the industry, is key for transformative change. Using ICTs and digital solutions in novel ways to boost the agricultural sector offers an immense opportunity to improve the livelihoods of rural communities and foster food security. Digital solutions can enable information access to effectively connect people in the value chain, and ICTs can help governments and development organizations strategize better solutions by providing richer data to help make informed decisions and pursue actionable solutions.