A third of people in the 420-million-strong Arab world do not have enough food to eat, according to the United Nations.
In a report published on Thursday, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) also said that between 2019 and 2020, the number of malnourished in the Arab world rose by 4.8 million people to 69 million, nearly 16 percent of the population.
The situation was “triggered by protracted crises, social unrests and exposure to multiple shocks and stresses such as conflicts, poverty, inequality, climate change, scarce natural resources and the economic repercussions associated with the recent COVID-19 pandemic”, the report said.
“The increase in the levels of undernourishment has occurred across all income levels, in conflict-affected as well as non-conflict countries,” the FAO said. “In addition, nearly 141 million people did not have access to adequate food in 2020 – an increase of more than 10 million people since 2019.”
“There may be no visible improvement in the situation this year since hunger’s primary drivers will continue to drag the situation further down the road,” Abdulhakim Elwaer, FAO’s assistant director-general and regional representative for the Near East and North Africa, added.
The FAO said hunger has increased by 91.1 percent in the Arab world over the past 20 years.