Recent data from the United Nations reveals that malnutrition is partly responsible for the deaths of 3 million children under the age of 5 every year (45% of the total number of deaths), and also that one child in four suffers from malnutrition.
The world’s population is constantly growing, and we are in need of a major shift if we hope to achieve sustainable agricultural growth, improve the distribution of resources and reduce waste.
Another recent report released in 2016 by the World Health Organisation reveals that at least 41 million children under the age of 5 are now overweight or obese. This represents an increase of ten million since 1990. This surge has primarily been driven by low and middle income countries in Asia and Africa; paradoxically, these continents are also home to the highest numbers of malnourished people.
Italy, meanwhile, cannot claim to be unaffected by problems related to the malnutrition of children and teenagers, as bad eating habits are becoming increasingly widespread. Science has extensively demonstrated that the spread of bad eating habits goes hand in hand with a rise in cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, strokes and tumours among adults.
Our initiatives aim to improve agronomic skills and technologies, especially for small-scale agricultural production. We guarantee subsistence in low-income countries and in emergency situations. We support the economic recovery of areas affected by natural disasters by helping to reactivate the food and agriculture sector and introducing new techniques and inputs.
We work to create and promote market opportunities for isolated communities and those with limited opportunities to sell their agricultural produce. This includes forming producer cooperatives and introducing innovative forms of social entrepreneurship.
We combat childhood malnutrition in Italy and abroad through education and by establishing school cafeterias to improve the nutritional intake of marginalised and vulnerable children in situations of food insecurity or in emergencies. We work with the relevant institutions and bodies to promote campaigns raising awareness of food education.