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The hunger growing again, driven by conflict and climate change

SEPTEMBER 15, 2017 | ROME – After a steady decline for more than a decade the world hunger grew again affecting 815 million people in 2016, 11% of the world population, according to the latest United Nations annual report on global food security and nutrition released today. At the same time, multiple forms of malnutrition are threatening the health of millions of people worldwide.

The increase – 38 million people more than last year – is largely due to the proliferation of violent conflicts and climatic shocks, we read in the edition 2017 The state of food security and nutrition worldwide.

Some 155 million children under 5 suffer from stunted (short for their age), the report found, while 52 million children are underweight (low weight for height). It also believes that 41 million children are now overweight. Anemia in women and obesity in adults are also of concern. These trends are a consequence not only of conflict and climate change, but also profound changes in eating habits and economic downturns.

  • The state of food security and nutrition worldwide

This report is the first global assessment of the United Nations on food security and nutrition to appear in the extension of the Sustainable Development Program in 2030, which has made the eradication of hunger and all forms of malnutrition the main international policy priority.

He emphasized that the conflict – increasingly exacerbated by climate change – are one of the main drivers of the resurgence of hunger and various forms of malnutrition.

“Over the last decade, conflicts have greatly increased and become more complex and difficult to resolve,” say in the foreword of the report the heads of the United Nations Food and (FAO), the International Fund for agricultural development (IFAD), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World food Program (WFP) and the World health Organization (WHO). They show that the highest proportions of children in food insecure and malnourished in the world are now concentrated in the areas of conflict.

“This triggered alarm sirens he is not allowed to ignore: we eliminate hunger and all forms of malnutrition in 2030 if we address all factors that compromise food security and nutrition. The building peaceful and inclusive societies is a necessary condition for that purpose, “they said.

The famine has hit parts of Southern Sudan for several months beginning in 2017 and the risk is great to see it strike again there or in other conflict areas, including the north-eastern Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen, they deplore.

But even in more peaceful regions, droughts or floods caused in part by El Niño and the global economic slowdown, have deteriorated food security and nutrition, note the heads of UN agencies.

key figures

Hunger and Food Security

  • Number of hungry in the world: 815 million, including:
    • Asia: 520 million;
    • Africa: 243 million;
    • Latin America and the Caribbean 42 million;
  • Part of the global population suffering from hunger: 11%
    • Asia: 11.7%;
    • Africa: 20% (33.9% in East Africa);
    • Latin America and the Caribbean: 6.6%;

Malnutrition in all its forms

  • Number of children under 5 suffering from stunted (too short for their age): 155 million
    • Many who live in countries affected to varying degrees by conflict: 122 million;
  • Children under 5 years are underweight (low weight for height): 52 million;
  • Number of obese adults: 641 million (13% of adults in the world);
  • Children under 5 years are overweight: 41 million;
  • Number of women of reproductive age with anemia: 613 million (approximately 33% of total).

Impact of Conflict

  • Of the 815 million people suffering from hunger in the world, 489 million live in countries affected by conflict.
  • The prevalence of hunger in countries affected by conflict is higher by 1.4 to 4.4 percentage points compared to other countries.
  • In conflict situations, aggravated by conditions of institutional and environmental fragility, the prevalence of hunger is higher by 11 to 18 percentage points.
  • People living in countries affected by protracted crises are almost 2.5 times more likely to be undernourished people living in greener pastures.

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