April 1, 2023

SDG 2: No hunger


Green, yellow, red - the paper ribbon wraps around little Anicia's upper arm like the colors of a traffic light. As it gently wraps around the girl's arm, the green and yellow parts of the band flutter in the wind; the part on the arm is red. The measurement with the MUAC tape (Mid-Upper Arm Circumference) confirms what Mrs. Geni Mabelya had already suspected when she first saw the two-year-old: the little girl is severely malnourished.

Geni fährt jede Woche die Dörfer in der ländlichen Region Lindi in Tansania ab, um bei den Kindern, der meist sehr armen Familien, einen medizinischen Check-up durchzuführen. Das MUAC – Band ist dafür ein weltweit einheitlich verwendeter Schnelltest, um bei Kleinkindern den Ernährungszustand festzustellen. Unterteilt in die Bereiche grün (>12.5 cm; ausreichender Ernährungszustand), gelb (12.5 cm – 11 cm; moderate Unterernährung) und rot (< 11 cm; akute Mangelernährung), eignet er sich um eine schnelle Aussage über die Ernährungssituation eines Kindes zu bekommen.

Every month, Geni diagnoses around 50 children under the age of five with malnutrition, in addition to around 30 who suffer from anemia due to an unbalanced diet. Worldwide, 828 million people are at risk of extreme hunger, almost 50 million of whom are children.

The children who are "discovered" by Geni are lucky: through the special Community Healthcare project to combat malnutrition, they receive the therapy they need to regain a normal weight. The families are also trained in how to eat a proper and balanced diet and are shown ways of earning their own food without spending a lot of money.

To put an end to hunger, and not just for these children, "Zero Hunger" was defined as Sustainable Development Goal 2 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in the 2030 Agenda. There are many different reasons why people go hungry around the world. These include poverty, wars and other conflicts, changes in food prices and unfair exploitation in agriculture. The coronavirus pandemic and the consequences of climate change have made matters worse in recent years. As a result, the number of hungry people has risen since the target was set in 2015. A world where there is no more hunger therefore seems a long way off.

Nevertheless, we should not give up on pursuing this goal through small actions, initiatives and projects - such as Geni's. Because every single filled belly means a little less misery on our planet.

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