The Malaysian Reserve

UN: World hunger levels rise for 3rd year

It was the third year in a row that global hunger levels have increased, following a decade of declines (Pic: Bloomberg)

By REUTERS / Pic By BLOOMBERG

Rome • World hunger rose in 2017 for a third consecutive year, fuelled by conflict and climate change, the United Nations (UN) warned yesterday, jeopardising a global goal to end the scourge by 2030.

Hunger appears to be increasing in almost all of Africa and in South America, with 821 million people — one in nine — going hungry in 2017, according to the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2018 report.

Meanwhile, 672 million adults — more than one in eight — are now obese, up from 600 million in 2014.

“Without increased efforts, there is a risk of falling far short of achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target of hunger eradication by 2030,” the report said, referring to the UN SDGs, adopted by member nations in 2015.

It was the third year in a row that global hunger levels have increased, following a decade of declines.

The report’s editor Cindy Holleman said increasing variation in temperature; intense, erratic rainfall and changing seasons were all affecting the availability and quality of food.

“That’s why we are saying we need to act now,” said Holleman, senior economist for food security and nutrition at the Food and Agriculture Organisation.

“Because we’re concerned it’s not going to get better, that it’s only going to get worse,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Last year, almost 124 million people across 51 countries faced crisis levels of hunger, driven by conflicts and climate disasters, the UN said. — Reuters