In his opening remarks, Mr. Scalabrini-McKellar detailed how individuals living in extreme poverty are particularly vulnerable, facing risks to both their physical as well as their mental health. He emphasized the urgency of addressing this issue by pointing out that UN predictions indicate that by 2030, 575 million people will be living in extreme poverty, with only 7.9% of those extremely impoverished individuals having access to social protections. Consequently, a significant segment of the world’s population faces critical challenges in securing their health and well-being.
Mr. Scalabrini-McKellar then showcased the initiatives carried out by the Order of Malta to enhance the physical health and sustenance of those in poverty. He explained Malteser International’s multi-sectoral approach to guaranteeing the right to adequate food, delineating our four pillars of food security: availability, access, utilization, and stability. He demonstrated how efforts to improve each of these pillars are crucial for achieving sustainable health and empowering local communities to become more self-sufficient. Drawing from our project in South Sudan, he provided an example of the effectiveness of our methods and how they contributed to a lasting improvement in the nutritional quality of the Sudanese people’s diet.
Mr. Scalabrini-McKellar concluded by emphasizing the necessity for a collective and cohesive approach to fundamentally change our current trajectory and make substantial progress toward the 2030 Agenda. He stressed that cooperation, in line with the methods outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals, is essential for making meaningful advancements. Such collaboration will foster a greater number and scale of operations, akin to our own, aimed at alleviating the suffering of the most vulnerable individuals, whom we are dedicated to serving.