Saturday, September 16, 2017

World hunger on rise again due to conflicts, climate change in decade: UN report

World hunger on rise again due to conflicts, climate change in decade
Global hunger is on the rise again after steadily declining for more than a decade, affecting nearly 11 percent of the global population, largely due to conflicts and climate change, a UN report claimed on Friday.

In 2016, global population in hunger reached 815 million, 38 million more than the previous year, according to the report, the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2017, which attributes to major reason behind it to the proliferation of violent conflicts and climate-related shocks.

Particularly grieving is that some 155 million children aged under five are too short for their age due to malnutrition, the report says, while 52 million suffer from wasting, meaning their weight is too low for their height.

In parallel, an estimated 41 million children are now overweight, while anemia among women and adult obesity are also cause for concern. These trends are a consequence not only of conflict and climate change, but also of sweeping changes in dietary habits as well as economic slowdowns.

The report is the first UN global assessment on food security and nutrition to be released following the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which aims to end hunger and all forms of malnutrition by 2030 as a top international policy priority.

It singles out conflict, which is increasingly compounded by climate change, as one of the key drivers behind the resurgence of hunger and many forms of malnutrition.

"Over the past decade, conflicts have risen dramatically in number and become more complex and intractable in nature," says the joint foreword to the report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, UNICEF, the World Food Program and the WHO.

"This has set off alarm bells we cannot afford to ignore: we will not end hunger and all forms of malnutrition by 2030, unless we address all the factors that undermine food security and nutrition. Securing peaceful and inclusive societies is a necessary condition to that end," the report concludes.

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