This month, THRIVE focuses on the UN’s sustainable development goals, SDG1 & SDG2 (No Poverty & Zero Hunger)
The proportion of population below the international poverty line is increasing, with an estimated 9% of the global population living in extreme poverty (living on less than 1.90$ a day). Moreover, new research published by the UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research warns that the economic fallout from the global pandemic could increase global poverty by as much as half a billion people, or 8% of the total human population.
Increased poverty leads to other issues, such as hunger. Around the world, more than enough food is produced to feed the global population, yet approximately 800 million people still go hungry or are facing famine. There is a prevalence of moderate to severe food insecurity in this population, based on the Food Insecurity Experience Scale. Thus, food security is becoming critical at the global level.
These issues need to be sustainably solved, as we are already encroaching on the natural world in an unsustainable way. We are using up approximately five billion hectares, or 38 percent of the global land surface, for agriculture. Also, poverty and hunger will increasingly affect disadvantaged and vulnerable groups leading to further instability.
A solution might be found in innovations like the universal basic income (UBI). A UBI is a policy principle in which all citizens receive a regular and equal financial grant from the government without a means test. Remote Sensing Technology and the Geographic Information System might offer another solution by optimising crop management and land use. Innovations like these are yielding positive results but there is still a long way to go to eradicate global poverty and hunger.