World hunger swells as conflict, climate change grow

A Rohingya Muslim woman Zahida Banoo holds her son Mohammad Noor, left, and daughter Shah ...
A Rohingya Muslim woman, Zahida Banoo, hold her sonMohammad Noor, left, and daughter Shah Heer as she poses for picture on the way to her shelter in Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh, Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. With Rohingya refugees still flooding across the border from Myanmar, those packed into camps and makeshift settlements in Bangladesh were becoming desperate for scant basic resources as hunger and illness soared. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)

The United Nations reports world hunger is rising because conflicts and problems related to climate change are multiplying. The report finds about 815 million people globally did not have enough to eat in 2016 — 38 million more than the previous year.

The statistics in this report are particularly grim. They show that global hunger is on the rise again after more than a decade of steady decline. The report, a joint product by five leading U.N. agencies warns that malnutrition is threatening the health of and compromising the future of millions of people world-wide.

The report says 155 million children under age five suffer from stunting of their bodies and often their brains, thereby dimming prospects for the rest of their lives. It notes 52 million, or eight percent, of the world’s children suffer from wasting or low weight for their height.

Executive Director of the UN Children’s Fund, Anthony Lake, says the lives and futures of countless children are blighted because of food insecurity. And those trapped by conflict are most at risk.

“Millions of children across northeast Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen and elsewhere; innocent victims of a deadly combination of protracted, irresponsible conflicts; of drought, poverty and climate change… If unreached, a generation of children, more likely someday as adults, will replicate the hatred and conflicts of today,” Lake said.

The report also explores the problems of anemia among women and growing obesity among adults and children as well. This study does not present a favorable outlook for the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goal of ending hunger and all forms of malnutrition by 2030.

Authors of the report say governments must set goals and invest in measures to bring down malnutrition and to promote healthy eating for healthy living.

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