UN: 3.1b people unable to afford a healthy diet around the world
World hunger rose in 2021, with around 2.3 billion people facing moderate or severe difficulty obtaining enough to eat -- and that was before the Ukraine war, which has sparked increases in the cost of grain, fertilizer and energy, according to a U.N. report released Wednesday.
Up to 828 million people, or nearly 10 percent of the world’s
population, were affected by hunger last year, 46 million more than in
2020 and 150 million more than in 2019, agencies including the Food and
Agriculture Organization, World Food Programme, and World Health
Organisation said on Wednesday in the 2022 edition of the UN food
security and nutrition report.
“The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World” paints a grim picture, based on 2021 data, saying the statistics “should dispel any lingering doubts that the world is moving backwards in its efforts to end hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition in all its forms.”
“The most recent evidence available suggests that the number of people unable to afford a healthy diet around the world rose by 112 million to almost 3.1 billion, reflecting the impacts of rising consumer food prices during the (COVID-19) pandemic,” the heads of five U.N. agencies that published the report said in the forward.
They warned that the war in Ukraine, which began on Feb. 24, “is disrupting supply chains and further affecting prices of grain, fertilizer and energy” resulting in more price increases in the first half of 2022. At the same time, they said, more frequent and extreme climate events are also disrupting supply chains, especially in low-income countries.
The report further says that “a record 345 million acutely hungry people are marching to the brink of
starvation,” and “a staggering 50 million people in 45 countries are
just one step away from famine.”