Friday December 6, 2019

Global Hunger on Rise Again: UN Food Agencies

0
//
Global Hunger Crisis
Global Hunger Crisis. IANS

Rome, Sep 16, 2017: After steadily declining for over a decade, global hunger is on the rise again, affecting 815 million people in 2016, or 11 per cent of the global population, Rome-base UN food agencies said on Friday.

The warning was made by Food and Agriculture organisation (FAO), International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) and World Food Programme (WFP) along with the other bodies in a new edition of the annual United Nations report on world food security and nutrition.

“At the same time, multiple forms of malnutrition are threatening the health of millions worldwide”, the agencies were cited as saying by Xinhua news agency.

According to the report, The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2017, the increase — 38 million more people than the previous year — is largely due to the proliferation of violent conflicts and climate-related shocks.

Also Read: Celebrity Chef Akshay Nayyar Joins Hands with NGO Akshaya Patra Foundation to Counter Hunger Problem

Some 155 million children aged under five are stunted (too short for their age) while 52 million suffer from wasting, meaning their weight is too low for their height, it said.

An estimated 41 million children are now overweight and anaemia among women and adult obesity are also cause for concern, the report added.

And “these trends are a consequence not only of conflict and climate change but also of sweeping changes in dietary habits as well as economic slowdowns”. (IANS)

Next Story

UN: Global Hunger Levels Stabilizing, While Obesity Rates are Skyrocketing

For the first time, the U.N. agencies were able to gather data on world obesity rates, which are hitting record levels

0
hunger, obesity
A man waits to receive food aid outside a camp for displaced survivors of cyclone Idai in Dombe, Mozambique, April 4, 2019. VOA

The United Nations says more than 820 million people around the world are hungry, while at same time, obesity is hitting record levels.

A report released Monday by five U.N. agencies dealing with food, nutrition and health says that while hunger levels have mostly stabilized, more people around the world are anxious about where their family’s next meal will come from.

“People that feel insecure  insecure because they are in areas under conflict, insecure because they are in countries with high levels of inflation, insecure because they are very low paid that they will not have money to buy their food — this number reached 2 billion people around the world,” José Graziano da Silva, director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said at the report’s launch. “This is really a big, big number. We were surprised when we found this figure.”

obesity, hunger
FILE – Jose Graziano da Silva, director-general of the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). VOA

The report notes the highest hunger rates are in Africa and growing steadily in almost all parts of the subcontinent, where climate and conflict, economic slowdowns and downturns have driven more than 256 million people into a state of food insecurity.

In Asia, more than 500 million people, primarily in the southern part of the continent, are suffering from malnutrition. This sort of hunger has lasting impacts on its victims, especially children, who suffer from stunting and wasting.

“So the question is what are we going to do about it?” asked World Food Program Executive Director David Beasley. “Because if these were your little girls and your little boys, I guarantee you, you’d be doing everything you could to do something about it.”

Beasley said the problem of world hunger is solvable, but is not achievable without ending war and conflicts, which consume a huge portion of the global economy that could be used for development.

obesity, hunger
David Beasley, the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) executive director, speaks during a press conference in Seoul, May 15, 2018, after his visit to North Korea. VOA

Obesity a global epidemic

For the first time, the U.N. agencies were able to gather data on world obesity rates, which are skyrocketing. “We have about 830 million obese people in the world,” said the FAO’s Graziano da Silva. “That’s happening in most continents except Africa and Asia.”

He said trends indicate that the numbers of overweight and obese people in Africa and Asia would soon exceed those who are hungry.  Graziano da Silva said obesity rates are rising by 6.3% and 7.5% per year respectively in Africa and Asia, while the global average is 4.8%.

ALSO READ: Scientists Closing in on Blood Test to Screen People for Possible Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

“It’s really a global epidemic issue the way obesity is rising and how fast it is rising,” Graziano da Silva added. The cost of obesity is very high, some $2 trillion a year in related illnesses and other side effects.

Graziano da Silva urged better labeling of foods, reducing the levels of salt, fats and sugars in processed foods and restricting advertising for some products geared toward children. He noted healthy and fresh foods also need to be promoted and access to them needs to be increased for some populations. (VOA)