The number of people around the world going hungry is on the rise, with more than 820 million people not having enough to eat, according to a new UN report, State of Food Security and Nutrition. The report shows that climate change is one of the main drivers of food insecurity, together with conflict and economic inequality.
The report says that for decades, the number of hungry people had been declining, but the past three years have seen a reversal of this trend, with about one in every nine people in the world now undernourished. At the same time, no region is exempt from the epidemic of overweight and obesity. These latest statistics show that achieving the zero hunger goal by 2030 is becoming more challenging:
This year’s report, which was launched in New York during the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) – the main UN platform monitoring follow-up on States’ actions on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – takes a broader look at the impact of food insecurity, and introduces, for the first time, a new indicator: a lack of access to “nutritious and sufficient food.” This affects some 1.3 billion people.
“Our actions to tackle these troubling trends will have to be bolder, not only in scale but also in terms of multisectoral collaboration,” the heads of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) urged in their joint foreword to the report.
The report states that while ending hunger and all forms of malnutrition by 2030 is an immense challenge, with real political commitment, bolder actions and the right investments, zero hunger is still achievable.
Achieving zero hunger through climate action
With climate change having a major impact on food security, the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit taking place on 23 September in New York will provide an important platform to address these two interrelated issues. They will also be high on the agenda at the SDG Summit in New York on 24 and 25 September.
The 2019 State of Food Security & Nutrition World report found that world hunger is ringing—it affects more than 820m people. The #ClimateAction Summit will focus on solutions to produce more food with less emissions, and boost climate resilience. https://t.co/xR0RYSVLnp
— Luis Alfonso de Alba (@ladealba) July 15, 2019
With the climate crisis threatening to reinforce the problem of food security, Zitouni Ould-Dada of the FAO recently highlighted the synergies between the two, and spoke of the need for a more efficient use of resources and food: