The clamour on food insecurity is concerned with accessibility to regular nutritious food and sufficient food. Some regions of the world experience severe food insecurity, while others, experience moderate food insecurity.
For regions experiencing severe food insecurity, persons within the area completely run out of food, and face extreme cases of hunger.
In regions where the food insecurity is moderate, people are forced to reduce the quantity of food they consume, and compromise on the quality of food, because of the uncertainties to regular access of food.
Recent trend shows an increase in food insecurity and world hunger. A 2017 report showed that an estimated number of 811 million people did not have enough food to eat in 2017.
A year after, a 2018 UN report shows that the number had increased to 820million people, who did not have enough food to eat in 2018.
A Report, named The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, recorded that around 700 million people faced severe food insecurity in 2018.
The UN reports also show that in every continent, the food insecurity is a lot higher for women than men.
These trends cast doubts on the possibility of achieving the Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger by 2030. This doubt has been voiced out in the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World Report.
Surveys have shown that the food insecurity is more rampant in countries that are facing lagging economic growth, low and middle-income countries.
Africa records the most alarming rates of food insecurity and hunger. For example, statistics show that close to 30.8% of population in Eastern Africa are undernourished.
Reports also state that an estimated 256.1 million people are hungry in Africa. Much of this is attributed to the slow pace of economic growth, and in some regions, outright economic stagnation.
Asia also records an alarming hunger rate. Statistics show that a larger population of Asia has undernourished people, especially in Southern Asian countries. A whooping figure of 513.9million Asian people have been recorded to be undernourished.
Major effects of the growing world hunger are:
- Increase in the number of children who are stunted
- Increase in the number of babies born with low birth weight
- Increase in obesity and overweight children/adults in all regions, as people are forced to resort to cheap foods
Because of this growing menace, the heads of United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), UN Children’s FUND (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP), and the World Health Organization (WHO), put forward a joint foreword in the UN report, urging that bolder actions should be taken to tackle the troubling trend in food insecurity, not only in scale but also in terms of multisectoral collaboration.