COVID-19: 660m people to face hunger in 2030 – FAO

The Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World released recently has revealed that the lasting effects of COVID-19 pandemic on global food security will still be felt for a long time as around 660 million people may still face hunger in 2030, 30 million more people than in a scenario in which the pandemic had not occurred.

The report emphasised the danger ahead said in 2030, the number of people facing hunger may be close to double the current population of the United States or triple that of Brazil, warning that unless bold actions are taken to accelerate progress, especially actions to address major drivers of food insecurity and malnutrition and the inequalities affecting the access of millions to food, hunger will not be eradicated by 2030.

The report further explained that while the global prevalence of moderate or severe food insecurity has been slowly on the rise since 2014, the estimated increase in 2020 was equal to that of the previous five years combined.

“Nearly one in three people in the world (2.37 billion) did not have access to adequate food in 2020, that’s an increase of almost 320 million people in just one year. Moderate or severe food insecurity has been climbing slowly for six years and now affects more than 30 percent of the world population.

“The high cost of healthy diets coupled with persistent high levels of income inequality put healthy diets out of reach for around 3 billion people, especially the poor, in every region of the world in 2019.

“Shifting to healthy diets that include sustainability considerations can contribute to reducing health and climate change costs by 2030, because the hidden costs of these diets are lower compared with those of current consumption patterns,” the report revealed.

It however listed six ways to avert this blink situation and achieve food system transformation, the report call for integration of humanitarian, development and peace building policies in conflict-affected areas,  scaling up of climate resilience across food systems while strengthening resilience of the most vulnerable to economic adversity.

“There should be strengthening food environments and changing consumer behaviour to promote dietary patterns with positive impacts on human health and the environment.

“2021 offers a unique opportunity for advancing food security and nutrition through transforming food systems with the upcoming UN Food Systems Summit, the Nutrition for Growth Summit and the COP26 on climate change.

“These events are

an unprecedented opportunity to generate commitments towards transforming food systems to eradicate food insecurity and malnutrition in all its forms and deliver affordable healthy diets for all, and to build forward better from the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.