Over 820 million people suffering from hunger; new UN report reveals stubborn realities of ‘immense’ global challenge

FAO/Manan Vatsyayana Local school children eat their meals at the Ban Bor Primary School in Xay District, Lao People’s Democratic Republic. (14 May 2019)

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


After nearly a decade of progress, the number of people who suffer from hunger has slowly increased over the past three years, with about one in every nine people globally suffering from hunger today, the United Nations said in a new report released on Monday.

This fact underscores “the immense challenge” to achieving the Zero Hunger target of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, according to the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2019.

The report, launched on the margins of the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) – the main UN platform monitoring follow-up on States’ actions on the SDGs – currently under way in New York, breaks down statistics by region, and shows that hunger has risen almost 20 per cent in Africa’s subregions, areas which also have the greatest prevalence of undernourishment.

Although the pervasiveness of hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean is still below seven per cent, it is slowly increasing. And in Asia, undernourishment affects 11 per cent of the population. Although southern Asia saw great progress over the last five years, at almost 15 per cent, it is still the subregion with the highest prevalence of undernourishment.

“Our actions to tackle these troubling trends will have to be bolder, not only in scale but also in terms of multisectoral collaboration,” the heads of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) urged in their joint foreword to the report.

Hunger is increasing in many countries where economic growth is lagging, particularly in middle-income countries and those that rely heavily on international primary commodity trade.

The annual UN report also found that income inequality is rising in many of the countries where hunger is on the rise, making it even more difficult for the poor, vulnerable or marginalized to cope with economic slowdowns and downturns.

“We must foster pro-poor and inclusive structural transformation focusing on people and placing communities at the centre to reduce economic vulnerabilities and set ourselves on track to ending hunger, food insecurity and all forms of malnutrition,” the UN leaders said.

Food insecurity

This year’s edition of the report takes a broader look at the impact of food insecurity – beyond hunger.

It introduces, for the first time, a second indicator for monitoring Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Target 2.1 on the Prevalence of Moderate or Severe Food Insecurity that shows that 17.2 per cent of the world’s population, or 1.3 billion people, lacked regular access to “nutritious and sufficient food”.

“Even if they were not necessarily suffering from hunger, they are at greater risk of various forms of malnutrition and poor health”, according to the report.

The combination of moderate and severe levels of food insecurity brings the estimate to about two billion people, where in every continent, women are slightly more food insecure than men.

Low birthweight still a major challenge

Turning to children, the report disclosed that since 2012, no progress has been made in reducing low birthweight.

Additionally, while the number of under-age-five children affected by stunting has decreased over the past six years by 10 per cent globally, the pace of progress is too slow to meet the 2030 target of halving the number of stunted children.

Furthermore, overweight and obesity continue to increase throughout all regions, particularly among school-age children and adults.

To safeguard food security and nutrition, the 2019 report stresses the importance to economic and social policies to counteract the effects of adverse economic cycles when they arrive, while avoiding cuts in essential services.

It maintains that the uneven pace of economic recovery “is undermining efforts to end hunger and malnutrition, with hunger increasing in many countries where the economy has slowed down or contracted”, mostly in middle-income nations.

Moreover, economic slowdowns or downturns disproportionally undermine food security and nutrition where inequalities are greater.

“Income inequality increases the likelihood of severe food insecurity, and this effect is 20 per cent higher for low-income countries compared with middle-income countries”, the report spells out.

The report concludes with guidance on what short- and long-term policies must be undertaken to safeguard food security and nutrition during episodes of economic turmoil or in preparation for them, such as integrating food security and nutrition concerns into poverty reduction efforts using pro-poor and inclusive structural transformations.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

“16+1” Cooperation injects new vigor into China-Europe cooperation

Statement by the Brexit Steering Group on UK paper on EU citizens in the UK

UN chief praises Malaysia’s death penalty repeal as ‘major step forward’

The financial world upside-down: debt failure closer

Ebola in DR Congo: New transmission chain risks reversing major gains

Venezuela: Parliament calls for urgent EU help for people fleeing the country

Lorenzo Natali Media Prize 2019: winners of EU’s development journalism award unveiled

General Assembly officially adopts roadmap for migrants to improve safety, ease suffering

Manufacturing is finally entering a new era

Portugal: €4.66 million in aid for 1,460 dismissed workers and jobless young

Heart attacks and strokes are more common on high pollution days, data shows

An economist explains how to create a fairer society

Budget MEPs approve €104.2 m in EU aid to Greece, Spain, France and Portugal

EU Migrant Crisis: Italian Coast Guard Headquarters and Italian Navy to give host national opening addresses at Border Security 2016 in Rome

A Sting Exclusive: “The challenge of Society’s digital transformation”, Spanish Minister of Spain for Industry, Energy and Tourism José Manuel Soria live from European Business Summit 2015

Climate change will force us to redefine economic growth

Back to the basics for the EU: Investment equals Growth

Climate resilience is make or break for businesses. Here’s why

How fintech is making investment accessible

1 million citizens try to create a new EU institution

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “European unity and cooperation is being called on question”, Vice President Joe Biden criticizes from Davos

UNICEF reports uneven progress in 30 years of child rights treaty

International World Summit Award calls for outstanding digital applications with impact on society from 178 UN member states

Why the UN is investigating poverty in the United Kingdom

Time to be welcome: Youth work and integration of young refugees

International community makes important progress on the tax challenges of digitalisation

Scores of Rohingya refugee shelters in Bangladesh destroyed by flooding

Can fighting climate change bring the Arab world closer together?

Countries urged to make ‘digital world’ safer for children

This top-10 of business risks misses the biggest of them all: climate change

‘Everyone needs to do more’ to help suffering Venezuelans, says UN Emergency Relief Coordinator

Why do medical students need to emigrate to become doctors in 2017?

Can the world take the risk of a new financial armageddon so that IMF doesn’t lose face towards Tsipras?

Why do medical students have to emigrate to become doctors in 2017?

Here’s what happened when one Guatemalan town went to war on plastic waste

Afghanistan: EU reinforces humanitarian support with €40 million as crisis worsens

Take care of your borders and then expand them

COP24: Paris agreement remained alive but fragile while the EU attempts to slow down CO2 emissions for new cars

Denmark’s last circus elephants are retiring – here’s what might take their place

Member States’ compliance with EU law in 2018: efforts are paying off, but improvements still needed

EU integration: MEPs want to end permanent opt-outs from EU law

To entrepreneurship and beyond!

Trump systematically upsets global order and trade: Where does this end?

Draghi hands over to banks €77.7 billion more

Rising landmine blast toll in Afghanistan highlights long-term care needs of survivors

Turkey caught in a vicious Syrian circle bringing terror and war at home

More than half of world’s refugee children ‘do not get an education’, warns UNHCR

This man is sleeping out in the Davos cold to make a point about homelessness

‘Favour dialogue’ over violence, UN chief urges all parties following clashes in Mali’s capital

MEPs want to ensure sufficient funding for Connecting Europe’s future

“Decisions taken in the coming weeks will shape Europe’s experience of the internet”, Joe Mcnamee from EDRi says live from European Business Summit 2015

European car industry: The Germans want it all

Tropical Cyclone Idai affects 1.5 million across Mozambique and Malawi, as UN ramps up response

Big world banks to pay $ 4.95bn for cheating customers; Is it a punishment or a gentle caress?

Human Rights breaches in Russia, Afghanistan and Burkina Faso

What data dominance really means, and how countries can compete

Europe’s dirty air kills 400,000 people every year

‘Continuing absence’ of political solution to Israel-Palestine conflict ‘undermines and compounds’ UN efforts to end wholesale crisis

Why vaccines are not just for children

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s