One in Ten People Around the World Suffer from Hunger, According to UN Report

United Nations

The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World revealed that between 691 and 783 million people were affected by hunger in 2022, with a mid-range of 735 million, representing an increase of 122 million people compared to 2019. This is a stark warning that could jeopardize the Sustainable Development Goal of ending hunger.

“We need an intense and immediate global effort to save the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We must create resilience against the crises and shocks that cause food insecurity – from conflict to climate,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a video message launching the report.

The report reveals that hunger has risen in Western Asia, the Caribbean and across Africa, where one in five people – more than twice the global average – are facing hunger. Only Asia and Latin America have made progress in improving food security.

In addition to rising hunger, the report issued jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO) and World Food Programme (WFP) also shows that people’s ability to access healthy diets has deteriorated around the world. More than 3.1 billion people globally were not able to afford a healthy diet in 2021.

The report also states that 148 million children under five were stunted (a condition marked by low height per age), 45 million were wasted (low weight), and 37 million were overweight, often an indicator of poor nutrition.

“Malnutrition is a major threat to children’s survival, growth and development,” UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell said.

The report also reveals that child malnutrition is displayed differently in urban and rural settings, with the prevalence of child stunting being higher in rural areas (35.8 per cent) than in urban areas (22.4 per cent). Similarly, wasting was higher in rural areas (10.5 per cent) compared to urban areas (7.7 per cent), while being overweight is slightly more prevalent in urban areas (5.4 per cent) compared to rural areas (3.5 per cent).

“The scale of the nutrition crisis demands a stronger response focused on children, including prioritizing access to nutritious and affordable diets and essential nutrition services, protecting children and adolescents from nutrient-poor, ultra-processed foods, and strengthening food and nutrition supply chains including for fortified and therapeutic foods for children,” Ms. Russell said.

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