The world, six years ago was committed to the goal of ending hunger, food insecurity and all forms of malnutrition by 2030. The world were optimistic and made intentional steps towards food security and all that with transformative approaches, as such that past progress could be accelerated, at scale, to put us on track to achieve that goal.
Surprisely, the world has not been generally progressing either towards ensuring access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food for all people all year round (SDG Target 2.1), or to eradicating all forms of malnutrition (SDG Target 2.2).
There had been major challenges rising from Conflict, climate variability and extremes, and economic slowdowns and downturns are the major drivers slowing down progress, particularly where inequality is high. The COVID-19 pandemic made the pathway towards SDG2 even steeper. So, if the world is at a critical juncture, where do we stand now? And what can be done to help us build forward better and put us on track to achieving Zero Hunger?
The number of people in the world affected by hunger increased in 2020 under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, between 720 and 811 million people faced hunger After remaining virtually unchanged from 2014 to 2019, the prevalence of undernourishment (PoU) climbed to around 9.9 percent in 2020, from 8.4 percent a year earlier.
In terms of population, taking into consideration the additional statistical uncertainty, it is estimated that between 720 and 811 million people in the world faced hunger in 2020. Considering the middle of the projected range (768 million), 118 million more people were facing hunger in 2020 than in 2019.
Here’s where people were suffering hunger in 2020, Compared with 2019, 46 million more people in Africa, almost 57 million more in Asia, and about 14 million more in Latin America and the Caribbean were affected by hunger in 2020, making a total number of undernourished people in 2020 (768 million):
Aside hunger, nearly one in three people did not have access to adequate food in 2020, While the global prevalence of moderate or severe food insecurity has been slowly on the rise since 2014, the estimated increase in 2020 was equal to that of the previous five years combined.
We need bold actions to combat what the future will bring as presently, around 660 million people may still face hunger in 2030, in part due to lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on global food security, about 30 million more people than in a scenario in which the pandemic had not occurred. To drive that number home, in 2030, the number of people facing hunger may be close to double the current population of the United States or triple that of Brazil.
Unless bold actions are taken to accelerate progress, especially actions to address major drivers of food insecurity and malnutrition and the inequalities affecting the access of millions to food, hunger will not be eradicated by 2030.