More than 122 million people have been hungry around the world since the beginning of 2019 because of the COVID-19 pandemic in the form of repeated weather events and conflicts, such as the Ukraine-Russia conflict, according to a report that has been discovered.
The prevalence of moderate or severe food insecurity in 2022 was still far above pre-COVID-19-pandemic levels. However, it remained unchanged compared to 2021, according to the latest State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) report released jointly by five United Nations specialized agencies on July 12, 2023.
If trends remain as they were, the UN-mandated Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of ending hunger by 2030 will not be reached, the report by the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) warned.
Around 29.6 percent of the population worldwide -about 2.4 billion people had been moderately or severely insecure by 2022, and about 9 million (11.3 percent of the population across the globe) were in extreme food insecurity. Nearly 600 million people could be chronically malnourished by 2030, according to the report. Forecasts.
It’s 120 million more than the scenario where none of the outbreaks nor conflict in Ukraine were in existence and 23.5 million greater than the conflict in Ukraine were not to have occurred.
The updated analysis in the report of this year showed that nearly 3.2 billion individuals around the world were unable to afford a healthy eating plan in 2020. This was followed by an improvement of just 2% in 2021 (a decline of 52 million).
“The cost of eating a healthy and balanced diet was up by 6.7 percent between 2019 and 2021. This includes a the most notable rise of 4.3 percent in 2021. The price has increased by over 5 percent between the years 2020-2021 across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean as well as Oceania however, it was only marginally on the other hand in Northern America and Europe,” the report said.
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The analysis featured increasing urbanisation as one of the megatrends that was driving changes in agrifood systems and, as a consequence, their capacity to deliver affordable, healthy diets for all, across the rural-urban continuum.
With nearly seven out of 10 people expected to be in cities in 2050, the basic notion of a rural-urban split is no longer relevant to grasp the expanding connections between urban, peri-urban, and rural regions.
“This expanding connectivity between the urban and rural zones is essential to better understand the function in value chains. Then, the problems as well as the opportunities created by urbanisation for agricultural systems be clearly identified on the appropriate policies, technologies and investment strategies.”
Within Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia — two regions with the highest levels of urbanization rapid urbanization led to increasing and shifting food demand and changes in the distribution patterns for food.
Estimates of the total food expenditures estimated an approximately 2.5-fold rise in Sub-Saharan African countries and an approximate 1.7-fold growth within Southern Asia by 2050.
In Southern Asia, the urban population was projected to more than double, increasing by 120 percent, from 555 million to 1.3 billion.
The report also provided evidence of how food consumption was very high across the entire rural-urban spectrum and even among rural households who live away from urban centers challenging the assumption that the purchasing patterns of rural and urban areas are different.
In the 11 African countries that were studied, however, while the processing of food items such as highly processed foods were higher when in cities, the consumption diminished in peri-urban areas and rural regions.
In addition, the consumption of fruits, vegetables, as well as oils and fats, were homogeneous across the urban and rural spectrum in relation to the total amount of food consumed.