On World Food Day, UN says hunger, climate change and man-made conflicts creates 'perfect storm'

The UN aims to achieve a Zero Hunger world by 2030, but faces three obstacles: conflicts, climate change and an economic slowdown.

Agence France-Presse October 16, 2018 22:40:08 IST
On World Food Day, UN says hunger, climate change and man-made conflicts creates 'perfect storm'

Rome: A potent combination of hunger, climate change and man-made conflicts are creating a "perfect storm", the head of the UN's food arm warned Tuesday in a call to action on World Food Day.

"You've got a nightmare, the perfect storm heading your way," David Beasley, World Food Programme (WFP) chief, said in a speech in Rome, where the United Nations' food agencies are headquartered.

On World Food Day UN says hunger climate change and manmade conflicts creates perfect storm

Representational image. Reuters

The UN aims to achieve a Zero Hunger world by 2030, but faces three obstacles: conflicts, climate change and an economic slowdown.

Beasley said the battle was an urgent one. "Children are dying at a rate of every five to ten seconds" from hunger or malnutrition, he said.

Food is being wasted both during the production process and in people's kitchens.

"The answer is not in Rome alone, it's in your homes. What are you going to do about it?" he asked.

It is not a problem wealthier countries can simply ignore, for it has a knock-on effect on them in terms of the migration crisis.

"For every one percent increase in hunger, there's a two percent increase in migration," Beasley said.

Some 821 million people, or one of every nine people on the planet, suffered from hunger in 2017, marking the third consecutive annual increase, according to the UN's latest hunger report.

An estimated 155 million children under five years old are chronically malnourished, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), while micronutrient deficiencies, dubbed the "hidden hunger", affects over two billion people worldwide.

At the same time, over 600 million people are obese.

"The costs to society of the 'global pandemic' of obesity are enormous - as expensive as armed conflicts and smoking," FAO head Jose Graziano da Silva said.

"International solidarity appears to be cooling," warned Pope Francis in a speech delivered by a Vatican representative.

He warned institutions leading the fight against hunger not to "study the roots of (poor people's) misery" and merely respond with "impressive publications destined only to enlarge library catalogues".

"When it is a question of effectively confronting the causes of hunger, grandiose declarations" are not enough, he said.

"The struggle against hunger urgently demands generous financing, the abolition of trade barriers and, above all, greater resilience in the face of climate change, economic crises and warfare."

Updated Date:

also read

Environment, debt & security priorities in India's G20 presidency agenda: EAM S Jaishankar at UNGA
World

Environment, debt & security priorities in India's G20 presidency agenda: EAM S Jaishankar at UNGA

Jaishankar said that as India begins the G-20 presidency from December 2022, it is sensitive to challenges faced by developing countries and will work with other members to address serious issues of debt, economic growth, food, and energy security

Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina denounces 'tragedy' of rich nations on climate
World

Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina denounces 'tragedy' of rich nations on climate

Bangladesh has produced a miniscule amount of the greenhouse gas emissions that have already contributed to the warming of the planet by an average of nearly 1.2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels

Explained: How climate change fuels cyclones and storms like Hurricane Ian
World

Explained: How climate change fuels cyclones and storms like Hurricane Ian

Hurricane Ian was one of the United States’ most powerful hurricanes on record. Scientists say that the recent storm shows that it is clear that climate change increases the upper limit on hurricane strength and rain rate