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130 Million More People May Face Chronic Hunger By End Of 2020 – REPORT

The United Nations says that over the past five years, tens of millions of people have joined the ranks of the chronically undernourished.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report “sends a sobering message” even as countries “continue to grapple with malnutrition in all its forms, including the growing burden of obesity.”

The authoritative global study tracking progress towards ending hunger and malnutrition is produced jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Fund for Agriculture (IFAD), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Food Programme (WFP) and World Health Organization (WHO).

The heads of the UN agencies involved cautioned that “five years after the world committed to end hunger, food insecurity and all forms of malnutrition, we are still off track to achieve this objective by 2030.”

In his video message marking the launch, the UN chief spelled out that if the current trend continues, “we will not achieve Sustainable Development Goal 2 – zero hunger – by 2030”.

The Pandemic

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As progress in fighting hunger stalls, the coronavirus pandemic is intensifying the vulnerabilities and inadequacies of global food systems, making things even worse.

“We cannot continue thinking of agriculture, the environment, health, poverty and hunger in isolation”, IFAD President Gilbert F. Houngbo said at the virtual launch. “World problems are interconnected, and the solutions are intertwined. The current pandemic is a wake-up call to all of us”.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that “while it is too soon to assess the full impact of COVID19, the report estimates that 130 million more people may face chronic hunger by the end of this year”,

At the same time, Mr. Guterres maintained that COVID-19 response and recovery investments must help deliver on the longer-term goal of a more inclusive, sustainable world, with resilient food systems for people and planet.

Most undernourished continents

While Asia currently has the greatest quantity of undernourished (381 million), people, the report showed that the number in Africa is growing fast (250 million), followed by Latin America and the Caribbean (48 million).

And although the global prevalence hungry has changed little, over the last five years, hunger has grown in step with the global population, which, in turn, hides great regional disparities.

With 19.1 percent of its people undernourished, Africa is hit hardest and becoming even worse. This is more than double the 8.3 percent rate in Asia and 7.4 percent in Latin America and the Caribbean.

On current trends, by 2030, Africa will be home to more than half of the world’s chronically hungry.

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Written by PH

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