The world is not on track to achieve the ambitious ‘Zero Hunger by 2030’ goal, said the annual study of the United Nations.
Hunger remains deeply entrenched and rising slowly across the world, making it harder to achieve one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the study said.It said more people are going hungry and the hungry are most numerous in Asia, but expanding fastest in Africa.
Six hundred and ninety million people went hungry in 2019 -- up by 10 million from 2018 and by nearly 60 million in five years, the latest edition of the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, has said.
As progress in fighting hunger stalls, the Covid-19 pandemic is intensifying the vulnerabilities and inadequacies of global food systems – understood as all the activities and processes affecting the production, distribution and consumption of food.
While it is too soon to assess the full impact of the lockdowns and other containment measures, the report estimates that at a minimum, another 83 million people, and possibly as many as 132 million, may go hungry in 2020 as a result of the economic recession triggered by Covid-19.
Tens of millions have joined the ranks of the chronically undernourished over the past five years, and countries around the world continue to struggle with multiple forms of malnutrition, said the UN report launched in Rome. The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World is the most authoritative global study tracking progress towards ending hunger and malnutrition.
The greatest numbers of undernourished people are in Asia (381 million). Africa came second (250 million), followed by Latin America and the Caribbean (48 million). However, on the basis of current trends, by 2030, Africa would be home to more than half of the world’s chronically hungry, the report said.The report was jointly produced by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the International Fund for Agriculture, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the UN World Food Programme and the World Health Organization.
Writing in the foreword, the heads of the five agencies warn 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″.