Human Rights

World’s hunger rates still rising for third year in row – UN report

ROME, The world’s hunger rates continue to rise for the third year in a row against rising levels of obesity, threatening to fail the most important goals of the sustainable development agenda, a joint report by UN agencies said Monday.

This comes in the new annual report on “The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World” prepared by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Program (WFP), alongside UNICEF and WHO.

The report, published in Rome and New York, said that 821.6 million people, representing ninth of the world’s population, did not find enough food in 2018 compared to 811 million a year earlier, with the third annual survey showing the enormous challenge of achieving the sustainable development goal of eradicating hunger by 2030.

It noted that the slow pace of progress in reducing the number of stunted children by half and reducing the number of underweight children at birth also make achieving the goals of nutrition in the second sustainable development goal far out of reach.

At the same time challenges are compounded by the continued high rates of overweight and obesity, especially among school-age children and adults, the report added.

Heads of the five organizations stressed their joint submission of the report that the actions of their organizations to address these worrying trends should be bolder, not only in terms of size and scope but also in terms of multi-sectoral cooperation.

They said that we must “promote a pro-poor and inclusive structural transformation by focusing on people and putting communities at the center of attention to reduce economic vulnerability and put efforts on track to eliminate hunger, food insecurity and all forms of malnutrition.” The report noted the increasing levels of hunger in many countries where economic growth is lagging, especially middle income and those heavily dependent on international commodity trade.

The increase in income inequality in countries with increasing hunger has made it difficult for the poor and vulnerable or marginalized groups to deal with deceleration and economic recession, it said.

Africa is the most worrying in light of the highest rates of hunger in the world, which continue to rise slowly and steadily because of the slowdown and economic downturn, the report added.

It noted that more than 500 million or the majority of undernourished people live in Asia, mostly in countries in the south of the continent, with Africa experiencing all forms of malnutrition, with more than 9 in 10 children stunted and more than nine out of every 10 children in the world Along with three-quarters of overweight children.

This year’s report draws on a new indicator of measuring food insecurity at different levels of intensity and monitoring progress towards achieving the second sustainable development goal of moderate or severe food insecurity based on data collected directly from people in surveys on their access to food in the last 12 months.

According to the report, of the total number of hungry people registered in 2018, 513.9 million were in Asia, 256.1 million in Africa and 42.5 million in Latin America and the Caribbean, while the total number of people suffering from moderate or severe food insecurity was 2 billion, of the world’s population.

Source: Kuwait News Agency