UN Warns Of Looming Hunger Catastrophe

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The number of people affected by hunger globally rose to as many as 828 million in 2021, according to a new UN report that provides fresh evidence that the world is moving in reverse, away from the Sustainable Development Goal of ending hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition in all its forms, by 2030, when the SDGs are supposed to be realized.

That represents an increase of about 46 million since 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic plunged the world’s economy into a downward spiral, and 150 million more since 2019.

The 2022 edition of The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) report presents updates on the food security and nutrition situation around the world, including the latest estimates of the cost and affordability of a healthy diet.

It also examines ways governments can repurpose their current support to agriculture to help make healthy and nutritious food cheaper, mindful of the limited public resources available in many parts of the world.

The report is a joint publication by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Between 702 and 828 million people in the world faced hunger in 2021. Considering the middle of the projected range (768 million), hunger affected 46 million more people in 2021 compared to 2020, and a total of 150 million more people since 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.

After remaining relatively unchanged since 2015, the proportion of people affected by hunger jumped in 2020 and continued to rise in 2021, to 9.8 percent of the world population. This compares with 8 percent in 2019 and 9.3 percent in 2020.

Around 2.3 billion people in the world (29.3 percent) were moderately or severely food insecure in 2021 – 350 million more compared to before the outbreak of the pandemic. Nearly 924 million people faced food insecurity at severe levels, an increase of 207 million in two years.

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