World hunger on the rise

Manila Bulletin - - Front Page -

The World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WHO) on Satur­day ex­pressed alarm over the in­crease in the num­ber of peo­ple ex­pe­ri­enc­ing hunger world­wide for the first time in more than a decade.

In a state­ment, the WHO dis­closed that the new edi­tion of the an­nual United Na­tions re­port on world food se­cu­rity and nutri­tion re­vealed that af­ter steadily de­clin­ing for over a decade, global hunger is on the rise again, af­fect­ing 815 mil­lion peo­ple in 2016 or 11 per­cent of the global pop­u­la­tion. Mul­ti­ple forms of mal­nu­tri­tion are also threat­en­ing the health of mil­lions world­wide, the re­port re­vealed.

The in­crease of 38 mil­lion peo­ple – com­pared with what was recorded last year – is due to the pro­lif­er­a­tion

of vi­o­lent con­flicts and cli­mate-re­lated shocks, ac­cord­ing to The State of Food Se­cu­rity and Nutri­tion in the World 2017.

The re­port said some 155 mil­lion chil­dren aged un­der five are stunted (too short for their age); 52 mil­lion suf­fer from wast­ing, mean­ing their weight is too low for their height; while 41 mil­lion chil­dren are over­weight.

Anaemia 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, it also dis­closed.

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.

“Over the past decade, con­flicts have risen dra­mat­i­cally in num­ber and be­come more com­plex and in­tractable in na­ture,” the heads of the Food and Agri­cul­ture Or­ga­ni­za­tion of the United Na­tions (FAO), the In­ter­na­tional Fund for Agri­cul­tural De­vel­op­ment (IFAD), the United Na­tions Chil­dren’s Fund (UNICEF) the World Food Pro­gramme (WFP) and the WHO said in their joint fore­word to the re­port.

It was stressed that some of the high­est pro­por­tions of food-inse­cure and mal­nour­ished chil­dren in the world are now con­cen­trated in con­flict zones.

“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 state­ment said.

Famine struck in parts of South Su­dan for sev­eral months in early 2017, and there is a high risk that it could re­oc­cur there as well as ap­pear in other con­flict-af­fected places, namely north­east Nige­ria, So­ma­lia, and Ye­men, the in­ter­na­tional ex­perts noted.

On the other hand, they added, even in re­gions that are more peace­ful droughts or floods linked in part to the El Niño weather phe­nom­e­non, as well as the global eco­nomic slow­down, have also seen food se­cu­rity and nutri­tion de­te­ri­o­rate. (Charina Clarisse L. Echaluce)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.