Advocating for Youth Leadership to Achieve the SDGs

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Mary Kate Costello addresses youth attendees of 2017 Winter Youth Assembly.

In keeping with The Hunger Project’s priority to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals through community-led development, advocacy for youth leadership and engagement has been at a forefront. The Hunger Project took a leading role in both the United Nation’s 6th Annual Youth Forum and the Winter Youth Assembly at the United Nations at the beginning of February 2017.

Follow-up: Click here to read Mary Kate’s article on young women’s cooperatives.

The Hunger Project’s Senior Policy Analyst, Mary Kate Costello, has been an active member of the United Nation’s Interagency Network on Youth Development’s Working Group on Youth and Gender Equality, and is now co-chair of its new Task Force on Young Women’s Economic Empowerment. Such engagement afforded The Hunger Project the opportunity to chair two sessions during the Youth Forum: breakout sessions on SDGs 2 and 5.

Mary Kate participated in the SDG5 session as a panelist, focusing on the importance of young women-led cooperatives, especially at the grassroots. Not only will cooperatives provide improved income generation for young women, but also offer unique social inclusion – especially for marginalized persons such as those with disabilities and indigenous women. Mary Kate stressed Coop UK’s research that cooperatives have an 80% success rate in their first five years compared to 40% for other economic initiatives and investments. Discussion during the breakout session included hindrances to gender equality in the economy as a result of both discriminatory laws and discriminatory practices that do not adhere to favorable laws for women. One such example noted was Ghana’s policies entitling women and men to have the same allowances in owning land. However, this is not reflected in the percentage of land owned by women. Approximately 15% of men own land in Ghana, whereas less than 10% women own land.[1]

The Hunger Project, as a leader in integrated community-led development, was asked to moderate one of the Youth Forum’s Media Zone Panels. Mary Kate Costello engaged with three youth leaders about their work toward SDG2, ending hunger, in their respective home countries of Trinidad and Tobago, Nepal, and Colombia. Issues covered included how to encourage youth interest in agriculturally focused employment, mobile phone technology and grassroots capacity assessments and rehabilitation of abandoned fisheries to generate exponential income. The full panel is available here.

The week rounded off with chairing and speaking in the Winter Youth Assembly

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Winter Youth Assembly attendees discuss their leadership initiatives toward SDGs 1 and 2.

interactive session on SDG1, ending poverty. The Hunger Project, alongside cohosts Campus Kitchens Project and FeelGood, looked
at existing youth-led initiatives toward ending hunger that mitigate poverty. The United Nation’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) delivered the keynote address via their Lead Technical Specialist, Mattia Prayer Galletti, challenging that youth development need not only include youth in program design and implementation, but more important youth leadership in both aspects.

The Hunger Project, out of its pillar to empower women, is an organizing partner of the upcoming CSW Youth Forum from 10 – 12 March 2017, and will be featured in a plenary panel on the topic of young women-led cooperatives again. This year’s CSW Youth Forum is the second of its kind, chaired by UN Women and YWCA, as a youth-focused “opening” to the annual Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the UN. The Hunger Project will maintain its engagement in the arena of youth development and leadership as a key element of community-led programming to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

[1] http://news.trust.org/item/20160516120134-jqvsx

IFPRI and The Hunger Project feature ODESZA in 2015 Global Nutrition Report Video

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 10.47.50 AMThe official video for the 2015 Global Nutrition Report (GNR), featuring popular electronic music group ODESZA‘s song Kusanagi, launched on Monday, November 9th. The video summarizes key messages about global malnutrition and its effects on strong development. Produced by The Hunger Project’s Policy Analyst, Mary Kate Costello, the video features imagery and video donated by The Hunger Project, accurately depicting the realities of extremely impoverished persons and the challenges of malnutrition.

As Post 2015 nears, the 2015 GNR bears heavy weight in development dialogues about priority issue areas to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. The reality that no country is on track to achieve all of the nutrition targets set by the World Health Assembly is sobering given that countries can lose up to 11% GDP as a result of malnutrition. To meet health, WASH and economic indicators, nutrition must be prioritized.

This video marks a turning point for nutrition experts and champions as it aims to reach new audiences by featuring music from a musical group such as ODESZA, which has a social media following of more than 70,000 millennials and electronic music fans. This type of video calls on the millennial generation that beholds the chance to end extreme poverty, hunger and malnutrition in all of its forms to share the message and take action: “To policy makers everywhere from everyone: malnutrition affects everyone on earth.”

Music:
ODESZA – “Kusanagi”
http://odesza.com

Progress on Millennium Development Goal #1 (Eradicating Extreme Poverty and Hunger)

UN MDG

Photo Credit: UN.ORG

In 2000, leaders from 189 nations setup the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to eradicate extreme  poverty and hunger, to achieve universal primary education, to promote gender equality and empower women, to reduce child mortality, to improve maternal health, to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, to ensure environmental sustainability and to develop a global partnership for development. (UN Millennium Project, 2014).

Millennium Development Goal # 1 Targets and Progress (Adopted from the UN.ORG/MDGs)

GOAL 1: ERADICATE EXTREME POVERTY & HUNGER

Target 1.A: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than $1.25 a day

  • The target of reducing extreme poverty rates by half was met five years ahead of the 2015 deadline.

  • The global poverty rate at $1.25 a day fell in 2010 to less than half the 1990 rate. 700 million fewer people lived in conditions of extreme poverty in 2010 than in 1990. However, at the global level 1.2 billion people are still living in extreme poverty.

Target 1.B: Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people

  • Globally, 384 million workers lived below the $1.25 a day poverty line in 2011—a reduction of 294 million since 2001.

  • The gender gap in employment persists, with a 24.8 percentage point difference between men and women in the employment-to-population ratio in 2012.

Target 1.C: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger

  • The hunger reduction target is within reach by 2015.

  • Globally, about 870 million people are estimated to be undernourished.

  • More than 100 million children under age five are still undernourished and underweight.

For more on 2013 MDGs Report Click here: http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/poverty.shtml

According to FAO (2013), 38 countries met anti-hunger targets for 2015. The 38 countries were honored on June 16, 2013 during the FAO Conference in Italy. According to FAO report, 20 countries have achieved MDG number 1. These were:  Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Brazil, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chile, Dominican Republic, Fiji, Honduras, Indonesia, Jordan, Malawi, Maldives, Niger, Nigeria, Panama, Togo and Uruguay. An additional 18 countries reached both MDG 1 and the WFS goals. These countries were: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cuba, Djibouti, Georgia, Ghana, Guyana, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Nicaragua, Peru, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) and Viet Nam. (FAO, 2013).

Countries who achieved MDG number # 1 in Green and Countries who achieved both MDG#1 and WFS goals in Yellow

AlgeriaAzerbaijanArmeniaAngolaBangladeshBeninBrazilCambodiaChileCameroonCubaDjiboutiDominican RepublicFijiGeorgiaGhanaGuyanaHondurasIndonesiaJordanKyrgyzstanKuwaitMalawiMaldivesNigerNigeriaNicaraguaPeruPanamaThailandTogoSao Tome and PrincipeTurkmenistanUruguaySaint Vincent and the GrenadinesVenezuelaVietnamSamoa

For more on the 2013 FAO Report click here: http://www.fao.org/docrep/018/i3434e/i3434e00.htm

References:

FAO. (2013). The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2013. Retrieved on Feb 3, 2014 from http://www.fao.org/docrep/018/i3434e/i3434e00.htm

World Bank. (2014). Global Monitoring Report 2013: Sub-Saharan Africa

Rural-Urban Dynamics and the Millennium Development Goals. Retrieved on January 31, 2014 from http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTPROSPECTS/Resources/334934-1327948020811/8401693-1355753354515/8980448-1366122085455/SSA_RegionalBrief_GMR2013_Eng.pdf

World Bank. (2014). Report Card: The Millennium Development Goals, 2013. Retrieved on January 31, 2014 from http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTPROSPECTS/Resources/334934-1327948020811/8401693-1355753354515/8980448-1366123749799/GMR_2013_Report_Card.pdf

UN. (2014). The Millennium Development Goals Report 2013. Retrieved on January 31, 2014 from http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/pdf/report-2013/mdg-report-2013-english.pdf