World hunger stops rising but remains elevated: UN


Published: 2023-07-12 18:25

Last Updated: 2024-02-26 07:48

World hunger stops rising but remains elevated: UN
World hunger stops rising but remains elevated: UN

World hunger stopped rising in 2022 after growing for seven years but remains above pre-pandemic levels and far off track to be eradicated by 2030, UN agencies said Wednesday.

Between 691 million and 783 million people faced hunger last year, with a midrange of 735 million, the five agencies said in a report.

The proportion of people facing chronic hunger rose from 7.9 percent of the world population in 2019 -- before the pandemic -- to 9.2 percent in 2022.

The annual rise "has stalled", however, with the total falling by about 3.8 million people between 2021 and 2022, according to the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report.

"There is no room for complacency though, as hunger is still on the rise throughout Africa, Western Asia and the Caribbean," they warned.

The report is "a snapshot of the world still recovering from a global pandemic and now grappling with the consequences of the war in Ukraine, which has further rattled food and energy markets."

Since 2019, those crises have plunged an additional 122 million people into hunger, according to the UN, with women and those living in rural areas hit particularly hard.

The post-pandemic economic recovery helped improve the situation, "but there is no doubt that the modest progress has been undermined by rising food and energy prices magnified by the war in Ukraine," said the report.

The report was prepared by the UN Food and Agricultural Organization, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, UNICEF, the World Food Programme and the World Health Organization.

The estimates indicate that hunger "is no longer on the rise at the global level" but it remains "far above pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels and far off track to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 2" of a world free of hunger, the report said.

The UN agencies warned that if the world fails to redouble and better target its efforts, the "goal of ending hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition in all its forms by 2030 will remain out of reach."