United Nations: World hunger will worsen, bleak prospects for 2020

One in nine people suffered from malnutrition in 2019, according to an annual report of the United Nations, indicating that this percentage will rise due to the Covid-19 epidemic.

According to the latest estimates, 690 million people went hungry last year, equivalent to 8.9% of the world's population, according to a report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) prepared with the assistance of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Program And who.

This number is ten million more than in 2018 and sixty million more than in 2014.

"If this pace continues, we expect that by 2030, this number will exceed 840 million. This clearly means that the goal of (eliminating famine by 2030 set by the United Nations in 2015) is still far away," Thibaut Mian, FAO Policy Analyst, told AFP. ".

These bleak expectations were reached before taking into account the health and economic crisis caused by the epidemic, which caused lost revenues, raised food prices and disrupted supply chains.

According to the report, the global recession caused by the virus could lead to an additional famine between 83 million and 132 million additional people.

"These are hypotheses that are still relatively cautious. The situation is still evolving," said Mian.

Estimates of malnutrition in this year’s report are lower than in previous years, as last year’s report indicated that 820 million people are suffering from malnutrition. The reason is the addition of new data, especially from investigations prepared in China on the situation of families in the country, which led to a review of previous estimates made since 2000.

"This is not a decrease (for the number of malnourished), it is a review. Everything has been recalculated based on the new figures," Mian said.

"Since China represents one fifth of the world's population, this modernization of its numbers has had major implications for the overall figures," the analyst added.

He explained that "even if the overall figure is less" than previous estimates, however, the trend towards high malnutrition since 2014 "is proving."


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