Tue 13 July 2021:
The number of undernourished people rose to about 768-million in 2020 — equivalent to 10% of the world’s population
World hunger and malnutrition levels worsened dramatically last year, mainly due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a multi-agency UN report released on Monday.
UN agencies, including the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Food Program (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO), released the first comprehensive report on food insecurity and nutrition since the start of the pandemic.
The report said that the rates of hunger and malnutrition in the world increased from 8.4% in 2019 to 10% in 2020 and that COVID-19 had a significant share in this increase.
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The number of starving and malnourished people rose to nearly 768 million last year, an increase of around 118 million.
WFP chief David Beasley said while 41-million people are currently at risk of starving to death, the combined net worth of the world’s billionaires is increasing by about $5.3bn per day — the same amount needed to save the lives of those starving the world over.
“The fact that we’re begging and screaming (for funds) is a disgrace on the face of humanity,” he said.
“In a world of plenty, we have no excuse for billions to lack access to a healthy diet. This is why I’m convening a global Food Systems Summit this September,” said UN secretary-general António Guterres.
“(Investing in) changes in our food systems will initiate a shift to a safer, fairer, more sustainable world. It is one of the smartest — and most necessary investments we can make,” he said.
Since December 2019, the pandemic has claimed over 4.03 million lives in 192 countries and regions, with more than 187.05 million cases reported worldwide, according to the US’ Johns Hopkins University.
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