For the fifth consecutive year, Latin America and the Caribbean recorded an increase in the number of people suffering from hunger and the pandemic caused by Covid-19 exacerbated the situation.
Last year 47.7 million inhabitants of the region had no food, which shows that the region will not achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 2 of the 2030 Agenda, zero hunger, by 2030, warns the report The State of Food Security and nutrition in the world 2020 (SOFI, for its acronym in English), presented on the morning of this Monday, July 13, virtually from Rome.
Hunger, considered as an estimate of the number of people who do not consume enough calories to lead an active and healthy life, will affect almost 67 million people in 2030, that is, about 20 million more than in 2019, the document indicates prepared by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
However, it is estimated that hunger will be even more pressing when the effects of the pandemic due to Covid
-19 are accounted for.
Qu Dongyu, director general of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) , said the pandemic poses a threat to food security because livelihoods are deteriorating.
“More than 3 billion people in the world cannot afford a healthy diet, which is disappointing because the world produces enough food to supply its entire population. A healthy diet can cost 5 times more than diets that only satisfy energy needs through a starch-based staple food, "Qu Dongyu said.
He also warned that "we are not on the right track to eradicate hunger and food insecurity and poor nutrition by 2030."
Julio Berdegué, FAO Regional Representative, stated that the hunger figures in 2019 are chilling, as is the forecast for the year 2030.
However, it also considers reality to be worse due to the impact of the Covid
We need an extraordinary response from governments, the private sector, civil society and multilateral organizations, said Berdegué.
We are worse now than when the region committed to the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015. Since then, 9 million more people have been hungry, he said.
In percentage terms, hunger currently affects 7.4% of the population, and it is expected to increase to 9.5% by 2030.
The report, also produced by the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Food Program (WFP), and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), also warns about the increase in obesity, which constitutes a serious health problem, since it increases the risk of non-communicable diseases, both in children and adults.
7.5% of children under 5 in the region are overweight, a figure significantly higher than the world average of 5.6%, the document said.