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UNEP West Asia Released a Report on the State of Food-Waste

Shivam Dwivedi
Shivam Dwivedi
Food Waste
Wasted food getting rotted

UN Environment Programme’s Regional Office for West Asia has released a new report- 'The State of Food Waste in West Asia' to highlight the amount of food-waste in the West Asia region. Whenever the food is unloaded in a disposal area it rots and becomes a major source of Methane- a greenhouse gas with 21 times the global warming potential of Carbon Dioxide.

Major Highlights of Food Waste Report:

  • The report, conducted in 12 countries in the region under the guidance of UNEP, gives a comprehensive view of the present condition across the region, in which about 34% of the food served is completely wasted, with an estimation varying from 100 to 150kg/cap of food waste happening at the household level, similar to levels in Western Europe & North America.

  • West Asian countries have unique cultural habits producing notable amounts of food waste over a short period of time. For example, during Ramadan month, research indicates that between 25% and 50% of the prepared food is wasted.

  •  Furthermore, the report also highlights on the result of a survey to gauge the attitudes & behaviors that represent food waste in the region. The report pointed out several countries in the region that require continuous and adequate support in setting food waste baselines. Considering this situation, only Saudi Arabia has conducted a national food loss and waste baseline led by the Saudi Grains Organization in 2019.

  • This report also spotlighted the potential of encouraging sustainable living and motivating youth to positively impact at consumer level, raising awareness on the consequences on the environment, economy, and food security, as well as of improving gender inclusive strategies across the food value chain.

"This report is aligned with international efforts to meet Sustainable Development Goal 12 (SDG 12), which seeks to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. Target 12.3 calls for halving per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer level. Given the considerable amount of wasted food annually and its repercussions on food security, the environment, the economy, natural resources and livelihoods, our report sheds light on food waste in West Asia," said Sami Dimassi, Regional Director and Representative for UNEP in West Asia.

"Our regional office is committed to supporting countries in filling the gaps and scaling up initiatives that have been successfully implemented at the local level through a regional programme soon to be discussed with all the countries in the region," he added.

With appropriate policies, improved awareness and comprehensive regulatory framework, the problem of food waste can be reduced in West Asia. Moreover, gathering data on national food loss and food waste is key to understand the scale of the problem, target major hotspots and evaluate policy actions.

About the UN Environment Programme:

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) is the pioneering voice on the environment across the globe. It facilitates leadership and inspires partnership in caring for the environment by encouraging, informing and enabling countries and peoples to enhance their life quality without compromising that of future generations.

(Source: UNEP)

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