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Number of People facing food insecurity set to double to 265 Million in Asia due to Pandemic: UN Report

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UN 2020 Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition reportAccording to the report ‘Asia and the Pacific Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition 2020: Maternal and child diets at the heart of improving nutrition’, based on Global estimates the number of people facing severe food insecurity was estimated to double to 265 Million by the end of 2020 due to pandemic. The report was jointly released by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Food Programme (WFP) and World Health Organization (WHO).

The report states that around 1.9 Billion people in Asia & Pacific are not able to afford a healthy diet.

What is a Healthy diet?

If the cost of a diet exceeds 63% of a person’s income, then the diet is considered as ‘unaffordable’.

i.It is the 3rd Annual Report released by the UN agencies reflecting the progress made towards

  • Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)-2 Zero Hunger
  • World Health Assembly targets 2030 on nutrition in Asia & Pacific region

Key Findings:

  • About 350.6 Million people in Asia & Pacific region are estimated to have been undernourished in 2019, which is 51% of the Global total.
  • Globally, 74.5 Million Children under five years of age have suffered due to stunting (too short for their age) & 25.2 Million wasted children (too thin for height), majority of those children live in Southern Asia.
  • Disruptions & Job losses due to pandemic have caused families to shrink their foods.
  • The High prices for fruits, vegetables & dairy products in Asia have made it difficult for low income in families to consume health diets.
  • Due to Shortage of health diets, people end up consuming high-calories, cheap processed foods which contribute to increased obesity & diabetes cases.

The FAO data shows that food prices rose to the highest level in nearly 6 years in November, 2020.

Regarding India:

  • The lockdown due to pandemic has resulted in broken supply chains & transport problems
  • Due to this, surplus grain stocks did not reach the needy.
  • Mostly, Day laborers & Migrants were vulnerable due to the disruptions.

Click here to read the full report

Recent Related News:

i.July 14, 2020 Based on United Nations'(UN) annual report “The state of food security and nutrition in the world- Transforming food systems for affordable healthy diets”, nearly 690 million people, or 8.9% of the world’s population, went hungry in 2019.

About Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO):
Director General– Qu Dongyu
Headquarters– Rome, Italy

About World Food Programme (WFP):
HeadQuarters– Rome, Italy
Executive Director– David Beasley

About World Health Organization (WHO):
Director General – Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (Ethiopia)
Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland

About United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF):
Executive Director– Henrietta Holsman Fore
Headquarter- New York, United States of America