Wednesday, October 05, 2022

The Ongoing Crises

 Rising food prices, floods, drought, water scarcity, increasing climate-related disasters, the global pandemic and conflicts, are driving food insecurity across the Asia-Pacific region. These challenges directly impact the most vulnerable people, including smallholder farmers, others depending on the land for their livelihoods and millions of urban poor.

Changes in rainfall patterns, crucial for agriculture in the monsoon region and in the frequencies and timings of pest and disease outbreaks have combined to lower yields. Asia and the Pacific already experiences 60 percent of global fatalities and 40 percent of economic losses due to multiple hazards and risks. In summary, the region's complex agrifood systems are under enormous strain.

FAO's Director-General, QU Dongyu, warned that the SDG's would not be achievable unless there is a collective will to defeat hunger, as a priority. He said the region's transformation needs to focus on outcomes that result in better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life for all -- ensuring no one is left behind.

The result of on-going crises is economic downturns and loss of jobs that pushed undernourishment from eight percent to almost ten percent during the first year of the pandemic, with the number of undernourished has now grown by 150 million.

 The majority of this increase is in Asia and the Pacific, accounting for nearly 85 million more people in hunger, as well as in Africa and Latin America.

 In 2021, more than 400 million people in Asia-Pacific were malnourished, most of them in South Asia, with 40 percent of all inhabitants unable to afford a healthy diet.

More than 80 percent of the world's smallholders and family farmers live off the land in this Asia-Pacific region, and their interests and livelihoods must be safeguarded by measures including social safety nets and reskilling programmes to improve employment prospects.

Asia-Pacific countries urged to rapidly transform agrifood systems as hopes fade for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 - World | ReliefWeb

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