The “State of Food Security and Nutrition” report highlights steps backward in efforts to eliminate malnutrition
In 2021 the number of people suffering from hunger worldwide rose to 828 million, about 46 million more than in 2020 and 150 million since the outbreak of Covid. This is what emerges from the United Nations 2022 report on the “State of food security and nutrition”, according to which “the world is moving away from the goal of defeating hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition in all its forms by 2030”. Nearly 670 million people (8% of the world population) are expected to still suffer from hunger in 2030.
Disheartening picture – The latest report on the subject, therefore, paints a bleak picture. The numbers highlight how the world has stepped back in efforts to eliminate hunger and malnutrition. Last year, in fact, 2.3 billion people lived in severe or moderate food insecurity, 350 million more than before the outbreak of the pandemic. Instead, 3.1 billion were unable to afford a healthy diet in 2020, 112 million more than in 2019.
The study also reports the growth of the gender gap: in one year the gap increased by more than one percentage point, with 31.9% of women against 27.6% of men. Finally, the report estimates that 45 million children under the age of five suffer from wasting and 149 million are developmentally deficient due to a lack of essential nutrients.
The causes – “This report highlights the intensification of these main factors of food insecurity and malnutrition: extreme climate and economic shocks, combined with growing inequalities”. These are the words of the heads of the five United Nations agencies that published the report (FAO, Ifad, Unicef, WFP and WHO). Disrupting international supply chains is obviously the war in Ukraine, responsible for the rise in the prices of grain, fertilizers and energy.
Solutions for the future – Working together looking for common solutions. This is the thought of the directors of the various UN bodies, who agree on the importance of acting immediately. “We need to take bolder steps to build resilience against future shocks,” the report reads.
A decisive role could be played by the governments of the main world states, which should do more to reduce barriers and encourage the production, supply and consumption of nutritious foods. To foster an economic recovery, it is therefore necessary to rethink food and agricultural support.