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Tackling food wastage should be a priority
The world is producing more than enough food, but hunger remains a major global challenge. Food waste has become a serious issue that needs to be tackled on a priority basis.

According to the World Food Programme, some 795 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life. That’s about one in nine people on earth.

The vast majority of the world’s hungry people live in developing countries, where 12.9 per cent of the population is undernourished.

The UAE Food Bank has confirmed in recent statistics that food waste is seen as a serious environmental and economic issue that costs the UAE economy a lot every year.

Dr Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, in an article carried by the Emirates News Agency, WAM, has rightly called for unifying efforts to come up with innovative solutions to reduce the amount of food being tossed away into municipal landfills.

Synergy in this regard is badly needed to redistribute surplus food to those who need it.

The minister aptly underscored the negative environmental impact triggered by the millions of metric tonnes of food waste tossed into landfills annually, which pose a grave danger to our ecosystem by releasing methane emissions.

Such emissions are much more dangerous than CO2 in their contribution to aggravating global warming and toll on human health.

Food loss and waste in the MENA region is estimated at up to 250kg per person and over $60 billion annually.

In this aspect, the launching of the UAE Food Bank by Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum in January serves as an excellent model for the rest of the world.

Sheikh Mohammed dedicated his 11th Accession Day to the UAE Food Bank, which was launched under the umbrella of the Year of Giving. The aim is to optimise food usage and reduce food waste in the UAE, besides making Dubai the first city in the region to achieve zero food waste.

The first branch of the UAE Food Bank was opened in April in the Al Quoz area of Dubai just three months after the announcement of the initiative. The site is equipped with all the necessary technical and logistical amenities to provide support for the food bank’s operations.

The world should continue to explore more innovative ways to reduce the amount of food wasted every day.

The Gulf Today

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