Conflicts and Climate Change Fueling Rise in World Hunger

17 September, 2017, 01:15 | Author: Hope Soto
  • The UN says global hunger levels have risen for the first time in a decade

The FAO estimated in the report that 20 percent of Africa's population (more than 243 million) was affected by hunger during the same period.

According to the report, wasting affected one in 12 of all children under five years of age in 2016, more than half of whom (27.6 million) live in Southern Asia.

World hunger peaked in 2000 when 900 million people didn't have enough food.

In a fresh global assessment about food security and nutrition, the United Nations warned that the increase is cause for great concern. Anaemia among women is another major problem, it says.

The increase in undernourished also came as a gauge of food prices rebounded from a seven-year low, even amid a global glut of grains.

"This is a growing problem worldwide and also has significant implications for people's health and living", said Ms. Holleman, noting that some countries have problems of malnutrition, as well as obesity.

In 2016, the number of undernourished people increased year on year for the first time since 2003, when a peak of 947 million people (14.9 per cent of the world's population) were undernourished.

Besides, number of stunted children (under 5-yr of age) dropped from 7.7 million in 2006 to 5.5 million now.

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But even in more peaceful regions, droughts or floods caused in part by El Niño and the global economic slowdown, have deteriorated food security and nutrition, note the heads of United Nations agencies.

Climate change, conflict and the global economic slowdown are the main causes of the recent increase in hunger.

Over the past decade conflicts have risen dramatically in number and become more complex and intractable in nature, said José Graziano da Silva, FAO Director-General; David Beasley, WFP Executive Director; Gilbert F. Houngbo, IFAD President; Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director, and Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. Obesity "is most severe in Northern America, Europe, and Oceania, where 28 percent of adults are classified as obese", the report states.

Starvation struck in parts of South Sudan for several months in early 2017, and there is a high risk that it could reoccur there as well as appear in other conflict-affected places, namely northeast Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen, the global experts noted.

They stressed that some of the highest proportions of food-insecure and malnourished children in the world were concentrated in conflict zones.

The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, 2017 - says that malnutrition is threatening millions across the globe.

The heads of major United Nations agencies warned that without concerted action, the ambitious goal set by world governments to end hunger and prevent malnutrition by 2030 will not be reached.

The report also names the destruction of wheat and barley fields in Iraq, damage to infrastructure in Syria, and the loss of livestock and crops in South Sudan as effects of conflict which are linked to hunger. "This is the way forward that we see to eradicate hunger and extreme poverty once and for all", he said. "There is no illusion that all protracted crisis can be solved immediately".

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