FAO. Eradicating Hunger: A Distant Goal

Since the appearance of the Covid, the indicators have been racing. In their latest joint report, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), UNICEF, the World Food Program (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) confirm that the pandemic has intensified the vulnerability of populations in terms of food security.

Read the report: The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2021

In 2021, between 702 and 828 million people suffered from hunger, an increase of 149 million, according to these organisations. Projections indicate that in 2030 78 million more people will be undernourished compared to a scenario without a pandemic, i.e. 670 million inhabitants in all on the planet. “The world is moving away from its goal of ending hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition in all its forms by 2030”as set out in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal SDG 2 « Zero Hunger ».

The conflict in Ukraine threatens to deteriorate the situation

Geographic disparities combine with gender inequalities. Thus, Africa remains the continent most affected by hunger (20.2% of the population). Asia (9.1%), Latin America and the Caribbean (8.1%), Oceania (5.1%) come next. Europe and North America respectively have 2.5% of their population in food distress. 31.9% of women are in a situation of moderate or severe food insecurity, compared to 27.6% of men. This gap has increased by 1% since 2020. Finally, 22% of children under 5 (149 million) are stunted worldwide, an improvement of 4.2% since 2012. On the other side of the scale, 39 million miners (5.7%) are overweight, a slight increase of 0.1%. Finally, one in three women aged 15 to 49 (571 million) suffered from anemia in 2019, a figure that has been stable since 2012.

The conflict in Ukraine threatens to deteriorate the situation. Successive droughts and rising commodity prices are disrupting supply chains. The five international organizations warn: the « intensification of the main drivers of food insecurity and malnutrition: conflicts, extreme climatic events and economic shocks » call for « more courageous measures to strengthen resilience to future shocks ».

Development aid, while it remains a major challenge, « cannot meet the needs alone », emphasizes Gilbert Houngbo, the President of IFAD. Thus, according to the report, public authorities must encourage innovation and the transformation of agricultural systems in order to face future crises. FAO Director General Qu Dongyu also highlighted the issue of food loss and waste. Current levels of wasted food could, he says, feed about 1.26 billion people a year.


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