Dhe hunger in the world continues to increase. Despite all the summits, commitments, initiatives, money, studies and articles – nothing has apparently helped. The number of people going hungry is increasing. That is the sobering conclusion of the new United Nations (UN) Global Hunger Report released on Wednesday.
According to this, between 702 and 828 million people were affected by hunger in 2021 – on average 46 million more than in the period from the beginning of 2019 to the end of 2020. Almost 10 percent of the world’s population was malnourished, slightly more than a year earlier. Nevertheless, the increase was not quite as drastic as between 2019 and 2020. According to the report, 2.3 billion people are exposed to moderate or severe food insecurity. More than 3 billion people and thus two fifths of the world population could not have afforded a healthy diet in 2020. Asian and African countries, Latin America and the Caribbean continue to be particularly affected.
Last year, supply chains disrupted by the corona pandemic and increased food prices ensured that the trend did not reverse again. And that will probably not succeed this year either: the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, the dramatic rise in food prices and the growing risk of a global recession are rubbing salt in a gaping wound.
Many sentences from the UN report could be quoted here to illustrate the extent of the problem. The following is probably the most impressive: “According to forecasts, 670 million people will still be affected by hunger in 2030 – 8 percent of the world’s population and thus the same number as in 2015, when the 2030 Agenda was launched.” Goals of the United Nations for sustainable development, the so-called Sustainable Development Goals. The second goal, to end world hunger by 2030, is now as far away as ever.
1. Why are more and more people starving?
Put simply, there are three main reasons for world hunger. On the one hand, there are wars, crises and economic shocks – such as the corona pandemic, the civil war in Yemen or now the Ukraine war – that make access to food more difficult in certain regions of the world. Military conflicts and coups d’etat have recently increased, especially on the African continent, for example in Ethiopia. Not only does this mean in the short term that the people on site or on the run have to suffer from hunger. Political instability also has serious consequences for food security in the long term, as it discourages private investment. “It’s a huge problem, and it’s probably the hardest to solve,” said Dominik Ziller, Vice President of the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Wherever hunger is most rampant, there are often wars – “there are major interfaces”.