by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – A multi-agency United Nations report published Monday asserts that a sharp increase in world hunger and malnutrition last year was equivalent to that of the previous five years combined, Reuters reports. According to the UN report, the likely cause of the increase is the COVID-19 pandemic.
Researched by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP), and the World Health Organisation (WHO), the UN report said that after five years of remaining relatively unchanged, the number of undernourished people worldwide rose to some 768 million last year – around 10% of the global population. The number of people living without enough food rose by 320 million to 2.37 billion last year – an increase equivalent to that of the previous five years combined.
Of the 768 million undernourished people last year, 418 million were in Asia, 282 million in Africa, and 60 million in Latin America and the Caribbean. The percentage of undernourished people in Africa is double that of any other region, Reuters reports.
“Unfortunately, the pandemic continues to expose weaknesses in our food systems, which threaten lives and livelihoods. No region of the world has been spared,” the UN agencies said in a statement. Moreover, according to the 2021 edition of “The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World,” the UN sustainable development goal of zero hunger by 2030 will be missed by a margin of nearly 660 million people, Reuters reports.
“Our worst fears are coming true. Reversing such high levels of chronic hunger will take years if not decades,” WFP chief economist Arif Husain said in a statement.
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