More than 820 million people are suffering from hunger across the world, a UN report has said.
Besides, the income inequality has been increasing the likelihood of severe food insecurity, the report added.
The fact underscores “the immense challenge” to achieve the Zero Hunger target of the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) by 2030, according to the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2019.
The report showed that hunger has risen almost 20 per cent in Africa’s subregions areas which also witness undernourishment.
In Asia, undernourishment affects 11 per cent of the population. Although South Asia saw great progress over the last five years, at almost 15 per cent, the region still experiences the highest undernourishment.
“Our actions to tackle these troubling trends will have to be bolder, not only in scale but also in terms of multisectoral collaboration,” 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 the World Health Organization (WHO) urged in their joint foreword to the report.
Hunger is increasing in many countries where economic growth is lagging, particularly in middle-income countries and those that rely heavily on international primary commodity trade.
The annual UN report also found that income inequality is rising in many countries where hunger is on the rise, making it even more difficult for the poor, vulnerable or marginalized to cope with economic slowdowns and downturns.
It introduces, for the first time, a second indicator for monitoring Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Target 2.1 on the Prevalence of Moderate or Severe Food Insecurity that shows that 17.2 per cent of the world’s population, or 1.3 billion people, lacked regular access to “nutritious and sufficient food”.
Low birthweight still a major challenge
Turning to children, the report disclosed that since 2012 no progress has been made to reduce low birthweight.
Additionally, while the number of under-age-five children affected by stunting has decreased over the past six years by 10 per cent globally, the pace of progress is too slow to meet the 2030 target of halving the number of stunted children.
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