By Tetiana Lebukhorska Senior Sector Lead, The Support to Ukraine’s Reforms for Governance Project (SURGe), funded by Global Affairs Canada and implemented by Alinea. 

Why are food issues so important today?

This year Russia’s unjust war against Ukraine has put a spotlight on the impact of food insecurity. For several months, the world has been balancing on the brink of threatening entire regions with shortages of grain, corn, oil, sugar; the balance and logistics of food supplies have been disturbed, and only the concentration of many governments has made it possible to solve this problem. However, the current solution is temporary and very unstable, and subsequent political events indicate new potential threats.

The Alinea team, funded by Global Affairs Canada takes a responsible approach to the global issue of food security. To implement effective mechanisms and tools for overcoming food crises, we launched the Victory Gardens program in Ukraine focused on working with the government, communities and families.

Along with the support of national and local governments in Ukraine, our team consistently implements comprehensive training programs, support for farmers and internally displaced persons. We offer communities tools on how to provide nutrition for their residents and help those in need. Solidarity is one of the basic values of food security. And on this day, we call on the world to reflect on the values that can unite us.

Although, the world has changed, there should be enough food for absolutely all people. But, as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations correctly states, the problem is access and availability of nutritious food, which is increasingly impeded by multiple challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic, conflict, climate change, inequality, rising prices and international tensions. People around the world are suffering the domino effects of challenges that know no borders.

The problem is not the amount of food. The problem is the quality and possibilities of equitable distribution. Every day, thousands of tons of high-quality food ends up in the landfills of rich developed countries, or deteriorates in warehouses due to borders of military confrontation. And daily, hundreds of thousands of people suffer from malnutrition or poor nutrition. Every day, unfair decisions by individual governments block opportunities that should help families.

There is nothing more misleading than the idea that this problem is easy to solve – that it is enough to implement counting and fair distribution tools in each country or region – but this is not the case. Many countries have learned from experience that we need comprehensive solutions on a global scale, which include better production, a better approach to nutrition, better environmental practices, and the implementation of sustainable development principles. We need a profound transformation of many processes, some of which emerged more than a century ago. And We need deep cooperation of countries and organizations in the implementation of such comprehensive programs.

With the beginning of a full-scale war, SURGe together with our business partners provided food, baby food and drinking water to about 73,000 Ukrainians from 35 communities from February-May 2022. In addition, as part of the Victory Gardens initiative, we provided 76,000 people from 20 oblasts of Ukraine with agricultural supplies for growing and preserving food.

Therefore, today on #WorldFoodDay 2022 it is important to work together to achieve the common goals of sustainable development and the safety of every family. Together for a sustainable future.