Global Hunger Levels Rising Due to Climate Change: UN Report

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The UN has warned that global hunger has reverted to levels last seen a decade ago, wiping out progress on improving people’s access to food and leaving one in nine people undernourished last year, with extreme weather a leading cause.

Hunger afflicted 821 million people last year, the third annual rise since 2015, with most regions of Africa and much of South America showing worsening signs of food shortages and malnutrition.

The analysis has revealed, in 2017 around 821 million people were undernourished. It was also stated that 2% of the total global pollution have had their growth stunted owing to lack of sufficient nutrition. Nearly 100 million people were left dependent on humanitarian aid during the year. The analysis also showed that one in eight of the world’s adults, 672 million people are now obese. This is increasingly regarded as a form of malnutrition associated with poverty, as poor people often lack access to good quality food.

The author of the report The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World have partly apportioned blame on drastic events like flood and drought. Another factor that is contributing to the plight is the difficulty in sourcing nutritious food. This has also resulted in one in eight adults being identified as obese. An urgent call for local and global action has been called for.

The UN report covers last year, and does not take account of 2018’s extreme weather which has brought heatwaves and high temperatures to much of the northern hemisphere, accompanied by droughts in some parts of the globe and floods in others. However, the changing climatic trends are likely to spell trouble for years ahead.

The heads of the agencies combined to warn of a worsening future, if action is not taken to help people adapt to climate change. “If we are to achieve a world without hunger and malnutrition in all its forms by 2030 [as the sustainable development goals state] it is imperative that we accelerate and scale up actions to strengthen the resilience and adaptive capacity of food systems and people’s livelihoods in response to climate variability and extremes,” they wrote in the foreword to the report.