Monday January 21, 2019
Home Lead Story World Hunger ...

World Hunger Level Continues To Rise Rapidly: UN

Paul Winters, associate vice-president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), said reducing hunger required targeted approaches that went to the roots of chronic poverty.

0
//
World Hunger, WFP, Hunger
Gatdin Bol, 65, who fled fighting and now survives by eating fruit from the trees, sits under a tree in the town of Kandak, South Sudan. VOA

World hunger rose in 2017 for a third consecutive year, fueled by conflict and climate change, the United Nations warned on Tuesday, jeopardizing a global goal to end the scourge by 2030.

Hunger appears to be increasing in almost all of Africa and in South America, with 821 million people – one in nine – going hungry in 2017, according to the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2018 report.

Meanwhile, 672 million adults — more than one in eight — are now obese, up from 600 million in 2014.

“Without increased efforts, there is a risk of falling far short of achieving the SDG target of hunger eradication by 2030,” the report said, referring to the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by member nations in 2015.

It was the third year in a row that global hunger levels have increased, following a decade of declines.

World Hunger
Scientists are creating seeds with more nutrients to help fight world hunger. HarvestPlus, a Washington-based nonprofit, has been fortifying sees with vital nutrients since 2003. VOA

The report’s editor Cindy Holleman said increasing variation in temperature; intense, erratic rainfall and changing seasons were all affecting the availability and quality of food.

“That’s why we are saying we need to act now,” said Holleman, senior economist for food security and nutrition at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

“Because we’re concerned it’s not going to get better, that it’s only going to get worse,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Last year, almost 124 million people across 51 countries faced crisis levels of hunger, driven by conflicts and climate disasters, the U.N. said.

Many nations struggling with prolonged conflicts, including Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Afghanistan, also suffered from one or more climate shocks, such as drought and floods, the report said.

On Monday, the charity Save the Children warned 600,000 children in war zones could die from extreme hunger by the end of this year as funding shortfalls kick in and warring parties block supplies from getting to the people who need them.

World Hunger
A mother holds onto her emaciated infant at an emergency feeding clinic in Maradi, Niger. (VOA)

The U.N. said South America’s deteriorating hunger situation might be due to the low prices of the region’s main export commodities – particularly crude oil.

A lack of food had caused an estimated 2.3 million people to flee Venezuela as of June, the U.N. has said.

Uncertain or insufficient access to food also contributes to obesity because those with limited financial resources may opt for cheaper, energy-dense processed foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar, the report added.

Being deprived of food could also lead to psychological and metabolic changes, said Holleman.

“The emotions and anxieties associated with food deprivation could then lead to disorders and bingeing when you do have food,” she said, adding that experiencing this in fetal and early childhood increases the risk of obesity later in life.

World Hunger
A woman holds a placard that reads “No more hunger. Stop. Change. Out Maduro Out” — a reference to President Nicolas Maduro — during a gathering of opposition supporters in Caracas, Venezuela, March 17, 2018. VOA

Paul Winters, associate vice-president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), said reducing hunger required targeted approaches that went to the roots of chronic poverty.

Also Read: Huge Fire In California Probably Due To Climate Change: Experts

“That requires having data on where they are, what their limitations are… and making sure we actually do investments that are transformative,” he said. “One of the big concerns is some (donor) countries are shifting much more to humanitarian aid which is important but doesn’t build resilience and address the underlying cause.” (VOA)

Next Story

Humanitarian Issues to Figure Prominently At The World Economic Forum

The head of the U.N. Children’s Fund, Henrietta Fore will champion the needs of children and young people who are caught up in humanitarian crises

0
World Economic Forum
People walk up stairs at the congress center where the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum 2019, WEF, take place in Davos, Jan. 20, 2019. VOA

Heads of U.N. and international aid agencies will use the World Economic Forum’s influential platform to present humanitarian and human rights issues on behalf of millions of people caught in conflict, poverty and natural disasters. The Forum begins its annual weeklong meeting in the plush Swiss Alpine resort of Davos on Monday.

The World Economic Forum is best known for the many high-powered government and business leaders who make the annual pilgrimage to Davos to acquire lucrative deals and shape geopolitical events.

But the annual event also presents a robust humanitarian agenda. This year, the Forum, World Bank and International Committee of the Red Cross will launch a humanitarian Investing Initiative. The aim is to seek new solutions for protracted humanitarian crises by moving from short-term to long-term funding to support fragile communities.

United Nations aid agencies will feature prominently during the week-long meeting. The World Food Program’s executive director, David Beasley, will co-host events, such as ‘conflict and hunger’ and ‘the use of digital technology in the humanitarian sector.’

World Economic Forum
Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum holds the meeting’s manifesto as he addresses a news conference ahead of the Davos annual meeting in Cologny near Geneva. VOA

Global Tensions

WFP spokesman Herve Verhoosel says the group will be seeking support for its operations. He says many of the companies attending Davos understand that investments in food security are fundamental to business success.

“It saves lives and builds stronger markets around the world. In fact, it can increase GDPs by up to 16.5 percent and a person’s lifetime earnings by 46 percent,” he said.

With more than 3,000 of the world’s movers and shakers from 110 countries present, aid agencies see the Forum as a valuable opportunity to strengthen relationships with world leaders and keep their life-saving missions on the world’s agenda.

World Economic Forum
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet attends a news conference at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Dec. 5, 2018. VOA

The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet will be attending events on a wide range of topics. Her spokeswoman, Ravina Shamdasani, says these include LGBTI or Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender and Intersex standards in businesses, and human rights and democracy in a changing world.

“A couple of events on women’s rights as human rights and female leadership. The importance of women playing a role in global affairs by creating a new architecture that allows them to fully participate as leaders and shapers,” she said.

Also Read: The World Economic Forum To Discuss Globalization, Climate Change

The head of the U.N. Children’s Fund, Henrietta Fore will champion the needs of children and young people who are caught up in humanitarian crises or are being left behind because of extreme poverty and lack of development.

U.N. Development Program Administrator, Achim Steiner will seek to raise $100 million from Davos’ wealthy clientele to protect wild animals and their habitats. (VOA)