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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.

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World 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
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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)

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A Majority of Children Die Due to Lack of Basic Healthcare Facilities: UN

For children everywhere, the most precarious time is the first month of life

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A malnourished child lies in a bed waiting to receive treatment at a therapeutic feeding center in a hospital in Sana'a, Yemen, Jan. 24, 2016. (VOA)

An estimated 6.3 million children died before their 15th birthdays in 2017, or one every five seconds, mostly due to a lack of water, sanitation, nutrition and basic healthcare, according to report by United Nations agencies on Tuesday.

The vast majority of these deaths – 5.4 million – occur in the first five years of life, with newborns accounting for around half of the deaths, the report said.

“With simple solutions like medicines, clean water, electricity and vaccines” this toll could be dramatically reduced, said Laurence Chandy, an expert with the U.N. children’s fund UNICEF. But without urgent action, 56 million children under five – half of them newborns – will die between now and 2030.

Globally, in 2017, half of all deaths in children under five were in sub-Saharan Africa, where one in 13 children died before their fifth birthday. In high-income countries, that number was one in 185, according to the report co-led by UNICEF, the World Health Organization and the World Bank.

Children
UN: A Child Dies Every Five Seconds, Most Are Preventable Deaths. Pixabay

It found that most children under five die due to preventable or treatable causes such as complications during birth, pneumonia, diarrhoea, neonatal sepsis and malaria. Among older children – aged five to 14 – injuries become a more prominent cause of death, especially from drowning and road traffic.

For children everywhere, the most precarious time is the first month of life. In 2017, 2.5 million newborns died in their first month, and a baby born in sub-Saharan Africa or in Southern Asia was nine times more likely to die in the first month than one born in a high-income country.

Also Read- NASA Celebrates Its 60th Anniversary

Despite these problems, the U.N. report found that fewer children are dying each year worldwide. The number of under five deaths fell to 5.4 million in 2017 from 12.6 million in 1990, while the number of deaths in five to 14 year-olds dropped to under a million from 1.7 million in the same period. (VOA)