Last year, the United Nations estimated that 2.4 billion people lacked access to sustainable food, 783 million faced hunger, and 148 million children were stunted.
According to the UN’s 2023 State of Food Security and Nutrition report, between 2021 and 2022, the number of global hunger will stagnate and many places will face a severe food crisis. He pointed to Western Asia, the Caribbean and Africa, where 20% of the continent’s population is suffering from hunger, twice the global average.
“Recovery from the global pandemic has been uneven, and the war in Ukraine has had an impact on nutrition and healthy eating,” said Qu Dongyu, director general of the Food and Agriculture Organization, in a statement. “This is the ‘new normal’ where climate change, conflict and economic instability push those on the margins further from security.”
According to the report, people’s access to a healthy diet has increased worldwide.
More than 3.1 billion people – 42 percent of the world’s population – could not afford a healthy diet in 2021, an increase of 134 million people compared to 2019, it said.
FAO Chief Economist Maximo Torrero said in a press release announcing the report that reducing the number of people eating an unhealthy diet is a big challenge, because it basically tells us that we need to change the way we use our resources in the agricultural sector. Agri-food system.
Between 691 million and 783 million people were chronically undernourished in 2022, an average of 735 million people, 122 million more than in 2019 before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, it said.
Torero United Nations Projections for 2030 indicate that 600 million people will still suffer from chronic undernourishment by 2030, in line with the United Nations development goal of achieving “zero hunger” by that date.
In the foreword to the report, officials from FAO, the World Food Programme, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF and the World Health Organization wrote that achieving zero hunger is “a daunting challenge”. He called for intensified efforts to “transform and harness agri-food systems” to achieve the goal.
Regarding children, the report stated that they are suffering from lack of food; Not only were 148 million children under five stunted, 45 million were too thin or “wasted” for their height, and 37 million were overweight.
Torero said the five agencies looked at urbanization and found that people in rural and semi-urban areas were consuming mass market products.
“Traditionally, we believed that rural people eat what they produce, but that is not the case,” he said, explaining that in rural areas, 30% of the family’s food basket is bought from the market, and half of it is in the city. And it is higher in urban areas, which has implications for nutrition due to the consumption of more processed foods.
In a virtual briefing to reporters, WFP Chief Economist Arif Hussain said that the food situation will not worsen in 2022 as the war in Ukraine continues because the donor community has raised about $14.2 billion, and the agency has been able to provide aid to 160 people. More than 97 million people in 2019.
“My concern is that going forward we’re going to see a significant reduction in funding,” he said, citing WFP donations last week of just $4.2 billion, down 29 percent from the same period last year.