Poor and hungry: 124 million people in 51 countries faced food crisis in 2017, says UN
New York, March 23: Around 124 million people in 51 countries across the globe faced starvation in 2017 due to climate disasters and conflict, stated the latest report done by the United Nations (UN). The report added that hunger problem surged as 11 million more people faced food crisis in 2017 compared to 2016.
"Reports such as this give us the vital data and analysis to understand the hunger problem better. It is now up to us to take action to meet the needs of those facing the daily scourge of hunger and to tackle its root causes," said UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
The report was presented by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and the European Union (EU) at a briefing in New York, United States (US) on Thursday.
The Global Report on Food Crises finds that food emergencies are increasingly determined by complex causes such as conflict, extreme climatic shocks and high prices of staple food--often acting at the same time.
"We must acknowledge and address the link between hunger and conflict if we are to achieve zero hunger," said José Graziano da Silva, FAO Director-General.
The report points out that conflict continued to be the main driver of acute food insecurity in 18 countries--15 in Africa or the Middle East--accounting for 60 per cent of the global total.
The surge in hunger problem is largely attributable to new or intensified conflict and insecurity in Myanmar, north-east Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Yemen.
"The fighting must stop now and the world must come together to avert these crises often happening right in front of our eyes," said David Beasley, WFP Executive Director. Da Silva stated: "Investing in food security and livelihood in conflict situations saves lives, strengthens resilience and can also contribute to sustaining peace."
The report also flags those entire communities and more children and women are in need of nutritional support compared to last year, indicating the need for long-lasting solutions to revert the trend.
"The consequences of conflict and climate change are stark: millions of more people are severe, even desperately, hungry," maintained Beasley.