The United Nations (UN) has warned that 130 million persons could be pushed into chronic hunger by the end of 2020. Its latest report on the state of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, said more people are going hungry.
The report which was released on Monday, estimated that no fewer than 687.8 million people suffered hunger in 2019, up by 10 million from 2018, and by nearly 60 million in five years. It further indicated that high costs and low affordability also meant that billions cannot afford healthy or nutritious meals.
Asia ranked top on the ladder of highest number of undernourished continents, with 381 million people affected, followed by Africa with 250 million, according to the study. Latin America and the Caribbean ranked third with 48 million people.
The UN report noted that although prevalence of undernourishment has changed slightly at 8.9 per cent, the absolute numbers have been rising since 2014. This implied that over the last five years, hunger has grown in step with the global population.
In a video message, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said the report had sent a “sobering message”.
“In much of the world, hunger remains deeply entrenched and is rising.
Countries continue to grapple with malnutrition in all its forms, including the growing burden of obesity. The COVID-19 pandemic is making things even worse,” Guterres said.
He said the world should take action to prevent many more people from slipping into hunger as predicted. “The report is clear: if the current trend continues, we will not achieve Sustainable Development Goal 2, zero hunger, by 2030. The transformation can begin now. Investments in COVID-19 response and recovery need to help deliver on our longer-term goal of a more inclusive and sustainable world.
We must make food systems more sustainable, resilient and inclusive – for people and planet”.
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