The hunger growing again, driven by conflict and climate change

The hunger growing again, driven by conflict and climate change

Global hunger levels have risen for the first time in more than a decade, affecting 11 percent of the world's population, five United Nations agencies said on Friday.

"Over the last decade, conflicts have greatly increased and become more complex and hard to resolve", say in the foreword of the report the heads of the United Nations Food and (FAO), the International Fund for agricultural development (IFAD), the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World food Program (WFP) and the World health Organization (WHO). "At the same time, multiple forms of malnutrition are threatening the health of millions worldwide", the agencies were cited as saying by Xinhua news agency.

Malnutrition and food insecurity affected 815 million people around the world in 2016-up from 777 million the previous year.

The report also explores the problems of anemia among women and growing obesity among adults and children as well.

"The concurrence of conflict and climate-related natural disasters is likely to increase with climate change", the report says, "as climate change not only threatens food insecurity and malnutrition, but can also contribute to further downward deterioration into conflict, protracted crisis and continued fragility".

Conflicts between armed groups has gone up by 125 percent since 2010, often growing into larger wars and affecting countries including Yemen, Nigeria, Somalia, and South Sudan, where the situation spiraled into a starvation for several months earlier this year. Some 11 percent of the world's population is affected.

On the other hand, they added, even in regions that are more peaceful droughts or floods linked in part to the El Niño weather phenomenon, as well as the global economic slowdown, have also seen food security and nutrition deteriorate. About 155 million children under five years old are affected.

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"Over the past decade, conflicts have risen dramatically in number and become more complex and intractable in nature", says the joint foreword to the report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, UNICEF, the World Food Program and the WHO.

People living in countries affected by protracted crises are nearly 2.5 times more likely to be undernourished people living in greener pastures. Obesity "is most severe in Northern America, Europe, and Oceania, where 28 percent of adults are classified as obese", the report states.

Some of the highest proportions of food-insecure and malnourished children in the world are now concentrated in conflict zones, according to The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World.

"Over the past decade, conflicts have risen dramatically in number and become more complex and intractable in nature", the heads of five United Nations agencies said in The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2017 report.

The five United Nations agencies heads also reaffirmed their determination and commitment now more than ever to step up concerted action to fulfil the ambitions of the 2030 Agenda and achieve a world free from hunger, malnutrition and poverty. Although lives were lost, we were able to pull South Sudan out of starvation in three months and Somalia in six months.

IFAD President Gilbert Houngbo said that 'We should not wait for conflicts to be over.

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