According to The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2018 released Tuesday, new evidence continues to signal that global hunger rate is growing, reaching 821 million in 2017 or one in every nine people.
Limited progress is also being made in addressing the multiple forms of malnutrition, ranging from child stunting to adult obesity, putting the health of hundreds of millions of people at risk.
In the report issued by the heads of FAO, IFAD, WFP, UNICEF and WHO, hunger has been on the rise over the past three years, returning to levels from a decade ago. This reversal in progress sends a clear warning that more must be done and urgently if the Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger is to be achieved by 2030, the report stated.
The situation is worsening in South America and most regions of Africa, while the decreasing trend in undernourishment that characterized Asia seems to be slowing down significantly.
The annual UN report found that climate variability affecting rainfall patterns and agricultural seasons, and climate extremes such as droughts and floods, are among the key drivers behind the rise in global hunger rate, together with conflict and economic slowdowns.
“The alarming signs of increasing food insecurity and high levels of different forms of malnutrition are a clear warning that there is considerable work to be done to make sure we ‘leave no one behind’ on the road towards achieving the SDG goals on food security and improved nutrition,” 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 WHO warned in their joint foreword to the report.
“If we are to achieve a world without hunger and malnutrition in all its forms by 2030, it is imperative that we accelerate and scale up actions to strengthen the resilience and adaptive capacity of food systems and people’s livelihoods in response to climate variability and extremes,” the leaders said.
The report also calls for greater efforts to build climate resilience through policies that promote climate change adaptation and mitigation, and disaster risk reduction.
READ ALSO: 800,000 PEOPLE COMMIT SUICIDE ANNUALLY – WHO
The statistics as contained in the report reads below:
- Number of hungry people in the world in 2017: 821 million or 1 in every 9 people
- in Asia: 515 million
- in Africa: 256.5 million
- in Latin America and the Caribbean: 39 million
- Children under 5 affected by stunting (low height-for-age): 150.8 million (22.2%)
- Children under 5 affected by wasting (low weight-for-height): 50.5 million (7.5%)
- Children under 5 who are overweight (high weight-for-height): 38.3 million (5.6%)
- Percentage of women of reproductive age affected by anaemia: 32.8%
- Percentage of infants aged below 6 months who were exclusively breastfed: 40.7%
- Adults who are obese: 672 million (13% or 1 in 8 adults).