Saturday December 7, 2019

FAO: 822 Million Suffer from Chronic Malnutrition; 2K Million Face Food Insecurity

The food of the future will be conditioned by the increase of the world's population, rapid urbanization and changes in diets, especially in middle and low-income countries

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FILE - A Congolese boy has his arm measured for malnutrition in a clinic run by medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres in the remote town of Dubie in Congo's southeastern Katanga province, March 18, 2006. VOA

Almost 822 million people suffered from chronic malnutrition and about 2,000 million had food insecurity in 2018, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN has said in a report.

New Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Qu Dongyu, faces the challenge of mobilizing more public and private efforts against malnutrition, in a clear rise in the world for the last three years.

Qu will follow the steps of Brazilian José Graziano da Silva, who during his eight years in charge of the FAO will insist on the need to achieve healthier and more sustainable diets as producing enough food globally has not been enough to end hunger, Efe news reported.

Experts demand actions against poor diets to eradicate any ways of malnutrition by 2030, a global goal set by the Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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Experts demand actions against poor diets to eradicate any ways of malnutrition by 2030, a global goal set by the Agenda for Sustainable Development. Pixabay

“Governments must facilitate a change in private sector activity in favour of more nutritious, affordable and accessible” Director of Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition (GloPAN) Sandy Thomas told Efe.

She urged the need to reach a common understanding of the “appropriate combination of regulations and incentives”, such as economic aid and subsidies that should support the transformation within the private sector through investment, innovation and efficiency.

It is estimated that in 2016 countries from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) invested more than 200 billion dollars in aid to agriculture. This quantity doubles when including aid from emerging countries.

Current subsidies have led to a model where “producers do not offer what they should” as they continue to provide, above all, cereals such as corn and rice, and products such as meat while it’s more important to eat more fruits and vegetables, the report said.

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A Somali boy receives a polio vaccination at the Tunisian hospital in Mogadishu. The hospital treats local diseases, malnutrition, and other injuries. VOA

Poor diet and malnutrition are responsible for 1 out of 3 deaths and can cause noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes or cancer, which cost the world more than 6,3 trillion dollars per year.

ALSO READ: Study: Early Onset of Menstruation Associated with Higher Risk of Diabetes

Being overweight and obesity have become a “tsunami” that, paradoxically, coexists with hunger in many countries and requires “more collaboration between sectors,” said Chief Executive Officer of the Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance (NCDs) Katie Dain.

The food of the future will be conditioned by the increase of the world’s population, rapid urbanization and changes in diets, especially in middle and low-income countries. Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), Lawrence Haddad, urged the sector to find “new allies” since governments or donors “alone” will not be able to end malnutrition. (IANS)

Next Story

Children in Africa Starve Due to Climate Change: Save the Children

Climate crisis is causing hunger for millions of children in Africa

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Children in Africa
A young girl at a temporary shelter for children in Africa. VOA

By Henry Ridgwell

Millions of people in southern and eastern Africa are facing emergency food insecurity partly caused by climate change, half of them children, according to the charity Save the Children. The region has been hit by extreme cyclones, flooding and drought in recent months and scientists say it is warming much faster than other parts of the world.

Cyclone Idai smashed into Mozambique in March, killing more than 1,300 people. Villages were washed away and cities inundated, while farmers saw their crops and livestock destroyed. The cyclone  one of the biggest on record  is estimated to have caused more than $2 billion worth of damage across the region.

A month later, Mozambique was hit by another storm, Cyclone Kenneth, killing dozens more people. “Never before has this country been hit by two cyclones in the same season,” says Gabriella Waaijman, the global humanitarian director of Save the Children.

Waaijman says 2019 will be remembered as the year that the climate crisis devastated parts of eastern and southern Africa  adding that at least 33 million people in the region face emergency levels of food insecurity, with about 16 million of them children.

Children food Africa
Children queue for food in a camp for people displaced in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai in Beira, Africa. VOA

“The link to climate change is actually the compounding effect of emergency after emergency after emergency,” Waaijman says, adding, “So the ability for people to recover from a shock, like a drought or a flood at the moment even, is getting less and less and less. And therefore their livelihoods are slowly but surely being eroded and literally washed away.”

A 2015 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shows temperatures rising in southern Africa at twice the global rate. Save the Children says leaders of industrialized nations must commit to bigger cuts in greenhouse gas emissions  and greater support for those most affected by climate change.

“If you are a child growing up in eastern or southern Africa, your chances of survival are currently being affected by actions that are taken by people in a completely different part of the world to which you have very little control or effect on,” Waaijman told VOA.

Also Read- Realme to Release Only 5G Mobile Phones in China from Year 2020

Twenty-nine thousand delegates are meeting in Madrid for the COP25 climate conference. U.S. President Donald Trump is not attending, having withdrawn from the landmark Paris climate agreement which he says would unfairly penalize the United States’ economy while other nations continue to emit greenhouse gases. (VOA)