CNA Staff, Jul 15, 2020 / 15:51 pm
Almost 690 million people around the world were undernourished last year, according to a new United Nations report, continuing what experts say is a worrying increase in global hunger.
The number of people who went hungry in 2019 was up 10 million from the previous year, and up 60 million from five years ago, said a report entitled The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World.
The report, released this month, was authored by international groups including the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, the UN’s International Children's Fund, the World Health Organization, the World Food Programme, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.
It warned that nearly 9% of the world’s population was undernourished last year, marking an increase in hunger despite international efforts to fight it.
The majority of people who went hungry in 2019 live in Asia, followed by Africa, the report said. Undernourishment is worse among women than among men, and the gender gap is growing.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has worsened projections for nutrition and food security. Estimates suggest that the pandemic could add 100 million people to those who are undernourished this year.
In May, Catholic Relief Services launched a campaign to help address global hunger.
The agency warned that many countries were already experiencing a food crisis prior to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, unemployment, lockdowns, heightened food prices, and supply disruptions have made it even more difficult for impoverished families in many areas to get food.