Looking at every intervention available to us, researchers have found the best combination of policies to feed everyone on the planet. And the price tag is quite low; about one third of what the US spends on its military each year or about 15 times what the European Commission spends on administration costs.
In 2019, nearly 690 million people around the world went hungry and more than 10 percent of the total global population is expected to go hungry this year. By spending $330 billion on strategic interventions, according to a series of recent reports which looked at available solutions, we could eradicate hunger by 2030.
Assisted by artificial intelligence, researchers from a collection of organizations called Ceres2020 analyzed more than half a million reports and studies to find types of interventions that governments should prioritize to end global hunger.
The three year analysis found that in order to stop world hunger, donors would have to double the amount of aid given for food security and nutrition each year. The poorest countries would also have to invest more, adding up to an extra $33 billion spent per year. If that investment goes toward the right approaches, they say, the problem is solvable.
“I think we absolutely do have a chance to achieve zero hunger by 2030,” says Jaron Porciello, a data scientist and primary investigator for Ceres2030. After looking at key interventions for rural areas in the poorest countries, particularly sub-Saharan Africa, where people are most likely to be hungry, the researchers wrote 10 research papers looking at different solutions.
One study, for example, pointed to the importance of matching advancements of agricultural technologies with supporting farmers in taking up new farming techniques or crops that could make harvests more reliable. Another study looked at ways to prevent food waste before food is delivered to markets, while a third one looked at how to train young people in new skills so that they can earn more money in the food system.
Overall, the findings of these research papers are intended to help donor governments decide which programs to support in order to achieve the most meaningful impact.