Monday, July 13, 2020

Hunger Looms Large

Billions of people cannot afford a nutritious and healthy diet and the virus fallout will only make it worse, UN warns. The coronavirus pandemic may push another 132 million people into chronic hunger by the end of the year, the United Nations warned.

Last year, two billion people suffered from food insecurity with some 746 million people facing severe food insecurity, according to the UN's State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2020 report. Most poor people around the world simply cannot afford a nutritious and healthy diet, which is far more expensive than the full value of the international poverty line of $1.90 per person per day, the UN says.

Fighting food insecurity had plateaued in recent years even before the coronavirus pandemic hit. After decades of decline, the number of hungry people has been growing since 2014. And while Africa has the highest levels of food insecurity, the scourge is accelerating fastest in Latin America and the Caribbean - from 22.9 percent going hungry in 2014 to 31.7 percent in 2019. According to the World Food Programme (WFP), 33 million people in South and Southeast Asia have been pushed into acute food insecurity since February 2020.

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