The 2022 edition of the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World's (SOFI) report of the United Nations (UN) has projected that nearly 670 million people, representing 8.0 percent of the world population, would be facing hunger in 2030.
A UN report also highlighted fresh evidence that the world is moving further away from its goal of ending hunger, food insecurity, and malnutrition in all its forms by 2030 as the situation is similar to 2015 when the goal of ending hunger was launched under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The world is moving backwards in efforts to eliminate hunger & malnutrition with 828 million people affected by hunger globally in 2021: UN State of Food Security and Nutrition report https://t.co/Wx7oPRGSZSpic.twitter.com/jHR2mrJPzJ— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) July 6, 2022
The report estimated that the number of people affected by hunger globally rose by 828 million in 2021, an increase of about 46 million since 2020 and 150 million since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The SOFI report presented an update 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 looks at ways governments can repurpose their current support for agriculture to reduce the cost of healthy diets.
The report was jointly published by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the UN World Food Programme (WFP), and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
It said: "This report repeatedly highlights the intensification of these major drivers of food insecurity and malnutrition: conflict, climate extremes, and economic shocks, combined with growing inequalities," the heads of the five UN agencies wrote in this year's foreword.
"The issue at stake is not whether adversities will continue to occur or not, but how we must take bolder action to build resilience against future shocks."
The report noted that worldwide support for the food and agricultural sector averaged $630 billion per year between 2013 and 2018, stressing that the lion's share of it goes to individual farmers, through trade and market policies and fiscal subsidies," the report added.
The Director-General of FAO, Mr. QU Dongyu, said: "Low-income countries, where agriculture is key to the economy, jobs and rural livelihoods have little public resources to repurpose. FAO is committed to continuing working together with these countries to explore opportunities for increasing the provision of public services for all actors across agri-food systems."
In the same vein, the President of the IFAD, President Gilbert F. Houngbo, said: "These are depressing figures for humanity. We continue to move away from our goal of ending hunger by 2030. The ripple effects of the global food crisis will most likely worsen the outcome again next year. We need a more intense approach to ending hunger and IFAD stands ready to do its part by scaling up its operations and impact. We look forward to having everyone's support."
Similarly, the Executive Director of UNICEF, Ms. Catherine Russell, said: "The unprecedented scale of the malnutrition crisis demands an unprecedented response. We must double our efforts to ensure that the most vulnerable children have access to nutritious, safe, and affordable diets - and services for the early prevention, detection, and treatment of malnutrition. With so many children's lives and futures at stake, this is the time to step up our ambition for child nutrition - and we have no time to waste."
WFP Executive Director David Beasley: "There is a real danger these numbers will climb even higher in the months ahead. The global price spikes in food, fuel, and fertilizers that we are seeing as a result of the crisis in Ukraine threaten to push countries around the world into famine. The result will be global destabilization, starvation, and mass migration on an unprecedented scale. We have to act today to avert this looming catastrophe."
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus: "Every year, 11 million people die due to unhealthy diets. Rising food prices mean this will only get worse. WHO supports countries' efforts to improve food systems through taxing unhealthy foods and subsidizing healthy options, protecting children from harmful marketing, and ensuring clear nutrition labels. We must work together to achieve the 2030 global nutrition targets, to fight hunger and malnutrition, and to ensure that food is a source of health for all."
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