United Nations agencies: Global hunger rises for first time in a decade

FACTBOX-Global hunger rises for first time in a decade - UN agencies

FACTBOX-Global hunger rises for first time in a decade - UN agencies

It shows some 11 percent of the world's population is affected.

Currently, Bangladesh has got 24.4 million undernourished people or in other words 15.1 percent of its population is not having enough to meet their minimum daily diets.

"The historic 2015 Paris Climate Agreement seeks to limit the rise in global temperatures to well below 2°C, but to make a significant difference to the world's hungry people; governments need to take urgent action to keep these promises".

Almost 52 million were affected by wasting - being underweight for their height. Anemia in women and obesity in adults are also of concern.

Exacerbated by climate-related shocks, increasing conflicts have been a key driver of severe food crisis and recently re-emerged famines, a major United Nations joint report has just revealed. The largest number live in Asia (520 million), followed by Africa (243 million), and Latin America and the Caribbean (42 million).

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After a decade of decline, the report indicates that global hunger has increased, with 815 million undernourished people in 2016, up from 777 million in 2015.

On the other hand, there has been a worrying increase of child obesity, with an estimated 41 million children around the world now overweight.

While the report blamed conflicts as the main driver of food insecurity, hunger is worsened when conflict areas are also affected by climate-related problems such as droughts and floods linked in part to the El Nino phenomenon.

The U.N. has said some 20 million people face possible starvation in parts of South Sudan, northeast Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen. These trends are a effect not only of conflict and climate change but also of sweeping changes in dietary habits as well as economic slowdowns.

The report casts doubt on the U.N.'s stated aim to eradicate hunger by 2030-a theoretically achievable goal, considering, as the United Nations stressed when it announced the goal, the amount of food in the world is more than enough to feed the global population. "This is an indictment of humanity", said the head of the World Food Program, David Beasley.

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"And that importantly, we will not end hunger by 2030 unless we address all the factors that undermine food security".

Some of the highest proportions of food-insecure and malnourished children in the world are now concentrated in conflict zones, according to The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World.

The five United Nations agencies heads also reaffirmed their determination and commitment now more than ever to step up concerted action to fulfil the ambitions of the 2030 Agenda and achieve a world free from hunger, malnutrition and poverty.

It also highlighted starvation in parts of South Sudan in early 2017.

"If we want to beat poverty, injustice and hunger we need to tackle climate change". Long term investment is core to the solution, not only as seen from an agriculture perspective, but there are also issues of governance.

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