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World’s hungry population on the rise again :UN Report

World’s hungry population on the rise again :UN Report

Hunger: Hunger defines a short-term physical discomfort as a result of chronic food shortage, or in severe cases, a life-threatening lack of food.

-          World hunger refers to hunger aggregated to the global level. Related terms include food insecurity and malnutrition. Food insecurity refers to limited or unreliable access to foods that are safe and nutritionally adequate

-          Malnutrition is a condition resulting from insufficient intake of biologically necessary nutrients (National Research Council, 2006).

-          Although malnutrition includes both over nutrition and under nutrition, the focus for global hunger is under nutrition.

Type of Malnutrition :

-          There are two basic types of malnutrition/undernutrition. The first and most important is protein-energy malnutrition (PEM), or a lack of calories and protein. Food is converted into energy by humans, and the energy contained in food is measured by calories. Protein is necessary for key body functions, including the development and maintenance of muscles. Protein-energy malnutrition is the more lethal form of malnutrition/hunger and is the type of malnutrition that is referred to when world hunger is discussed. This leads to growth failure. Principal types of growth failure are:

  1. Based on physical measurements, like weight, malnutrition can be broken down into moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) and severe acute malnutrition (SAM), with SAM being worse .
  2. There are two types of acute malnutrition. Wasting (also called marasmus) is having a very low weight for a person’s height. Nutritional edema (also called kwashiorkor)  is swollen feet, face or limbs (UNICEF, 2015).
  3. Stunting is being too short for a person’s age. It is a slow, cumulative process and develops over a long period as a result of inadequate nutrition or repeated infections, or both. Stunted children may have normal body proportions but look younger than their actual age.

Current Scenario:

Conflicts, climate change are main hurdles in meeting development goals.The number of hungry people in the world has risen for the first time in more than a decade, according to a United Nations report.

-          There are now approximately 38 million more undernourished people in the world, rising from 777 million in 2015 to 815 million in 2016, the year for which the latest statistics are available.

-          According to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals 2018 report:

  1. Conflict is now one of the main drivers of food insecurity in 18 countries.
  2. After a prolonged decline, world hunger appears to be on the rise again. Conflict, drought and disasters linked to climate change are among the key factors causing this reversal in progress.
  3. Violent conflicts also led to the forced displacement of a record high 68.5 million in 2017.
  4. Noting the increasing impact of extreme events related to a changing climate, the report said economic losses attributed to disasters were estimated at over $300 billion in 2017.

India Specific Data:

  1. South Asia, which includes India, has seen child marriage rates plunge, with a girl’s risk of getting married in childhood dropping by 40% from 2000 to 2017.
  2. Water stress levels for many countries in the region are above 70%, indicating fast-approaching water scarcity.
  3.  More than nine out of 10 people living in urban areas around the world are breathing polluted air, with southern Asia scoring the worst in this area. While electricity and sanitation deficits in south Asia are still poor, the report noted efforts are being made to close the gap.

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