WHO: Global hunger on the rise

WHO: Global hunger on the rise

In its latest report on food security and nutrition, the world has made little progress in eliminating hunger and malnutrition, reports the World Health Organisation.

empty bowl
Empty bowl /iStock

Millions of people are dying of hunger each year. 

Despite all the efforts made, The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) report shows that the world is moving backwards in efforts to eliminate hunger and malnutrition. 

- The World Health Organisation reports that 9.8% of people around the world are affected by hunger. An increase from 8% in 2019 and 9.3% in 2020.  

- There has been an increase of about 46 million from the 2020 figures, when it comes to people affected by hunger. The 2021 figures stood at 828 million people. 

READ: [LISTEN] NPO warns of 'donor fatigue' amid Covid-19 food need crisis

- The report also shows that the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to many people losing their jobs, has also played a major role in worsening the food hunger crisis. WHO reports nearly 924 million people (11.7% of the global population) faced food insecurity at severe levels, an increase of 207 million in two years.

- Another interesting fact is that women continue to suffer the most. The report shows that in 2021, 31.9% of women in the world were moderately or severely food insecure, compared to 27.6% of men – a gap of more than 4 percentage points, compared with 3 percentage points in 2020.

- Children were also badly affected. The report states that an estimated 45 million children under the age of five were suffering from wasting, the deadliest form of malnutrition, which increases their risk of death by up to 12 times. It also states that chronic nutritional deficiencies stunted the growth and development of 149 million children under the age of five. 

- Almost 3.1 billion people could not afford a healthy diet in 2020, up 112 million from 2019, reflecting the effects of inflation in consumer food prices stemming from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures put in place to contain it. 

READ: Coronavirus sparks record use of UK food banks: charity

Image courtesy of iStock/ @Charliestockis

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