World hunger is on the rise for the third year in a row
World hunger is on the rise for the third year in a row A food pantry in Baltimore, Maryland. (Baltimore Heritage/USDA/Flickr)
World hunger is on the rise for the third year in a row
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Improvements in agricultural practices and food distribution have steadily decreased hunger rates. This has been true in nations across the globe for decades. But progress has been bumped off the tracks. That's according to Jason Beaubien reporting for NPR. 

New data has been put together by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (F.A.O.). Other agencies helped with the report. It found that hunger has increased across the world. It has gone up for the third year in a row.

The recent report is somewhat surprising. As of 2015, the rate of undernourishment in the developing world had fallen from 23.3 percent of people between the years 1990 to 1992 to 12.9 percent. 

But just as that percentage dropped by almost half, the numbers began to reflect global hunger on the rise. There were 783.7 million people affected by hunger in 2014. That that number increased to 784.4 in 2015. And it increased to 804.2 in 2016. The latest report bumps the number of those affected to 820.8 million.

So what’s causing the increase in hunger? The report points to two main culprits. The first culprit is conflicts around the globe. The second culprit is extreme weather events likely powered by climate change. The endless conflicts in Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria and Somalia have led to food issues. These impact millions of people. The drop in crude oil prices has led to economic problems in South America. This is particularly true in Venezuela. More than 2.3 million people have fled the country mainly due to food issues.

In Africa, some of the worst droughts ever seen have occurred in the last decade. The droughts are affecting nations all over the continent. This includes parts of West Africa and the Horn of Africa. It also includes Southern Africa. They have decimated agriculture and impacted food availability in the region.

“[T]he underlying problem with hunger and why we see so much hunger is also poverty, income inequalities and the marginalization of populations,” editor Cindy Holleman told Zipporah Nyambura at Deutsche Welle. Holleman is senior economist for food security and nutrition at the F.A.O. 

“But what's new is we’re seeing increasing climate variability. Africa has been hard hit. In the last 10 years, Africa has been especially hit with climate variability and extremes.”

The impacts of hunger can be severe. For instance, 151 million children under the age of 5 experience stunted growth due to malnourishment. This is according to the report. 

And 50.5 million experience wasting, or being severely underweight. It may seem odd but, hunger also leads to increased rates of obesity. This leads to other health problems like diabetes. 

The global percentage of obese people had reached 13.2 percent in 2016. That's according to an F.A.O. press release. This was true even in nations where hunger was on the rise. The reasons for this are complex. Fresh food is often expensive, so people are drawn toward fat and sugar-filled processed foods. This creates as “feast-or-famine” style of eating. In this scenario, people gorge when food is available. Then people go hungry when it is not. This is also believed to lead to metabolic changes. These could cause unwanted weight gain.

The reversal in hunger rates isn’t just a temporary blip and experts don’t see the trend reversing on its own. In fact, they fear that it will get worse without intervention. The report suggests that efforts must be made to end global conflicts and stop climate change. Nations need to be more resilient against natural disasters like flood and drought. Changes are needed to get things back on track.

If the trend continues, the UN will fail to achieve one of its most important sustainable development goals. The UN's agenda of projects included ending poverty and improving health and education by 2030. This agenda was ratified in 2015. 

“The alarming signs of increasing food insecurity and high levels of different forms of malnutrition are a clear warning that there is considerable work to be done to make sure we 'leave no one behind' on the road towards achieving the SDG goals on food security and improved nutrition,” the study’s authors write.

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What do you think would be the best way to solve world hunger?
Write your answers in the comments section below

  • Ella S-rud
    12/13/2018 - 11:49 a.m.

    I think that the best way to solve hunger is... well there are many ways to help world hunger. For example, 1 way you could help is that if you have left over food that you don't want to have, don't throw it away, give it to a person who needs food and is trying to survive world hunger. Another idea is that you could give 5,10, or even 20 bucks to help world hunger. The last idea that I have to help world hunger is that you can make a program or join a program that helps world hunger to end by making a bake sale to buy food for people, or raise a whole comunity picnic party with all the fun stuff with it or even do a Santa Clause bell ringer that says, "Help the Needy!" All of that can help world hunger to the end just by doing that.

  • Phoenix R-rud
    12/13/2018 - 11:51 a.m.

    I think one way to solve world hunger is to try to get people to ration food when they get the chance too.In the article it states that when food is available, people gorge. Personally i think that people are causing hunger on themselves and should save a decent amount of the food they have for when there is a drought or a different natural disaster.I also think that people should drop the prices on foods and donate to the hungry.Now a days people in some countries have become so poor that you can buy a large meal for a dollar.However people there don't even have that much money to buys things.I also think that the population of those countries should try to work a little harder to prevent all of the droughts that happen in their countries.All in all i think that there are many ways to solve hunger, but people just have to try a little harder to make hunger disappear.

  • lgodw-wim5
    12/13/2018 - 12:48 p.m.

    i think that there is a few ways to solve world hunger.i think that the prices should go down on food so people can actually buy food.i also think that there should be more ways that homeless people could get food.they could also plant more plants that would grow there for them.these are some ways i think we can solve world hunger.

  • pkhat-wim5
    12/13/2018 - 12:52 p.m.

    There might not be many ways to solve world hunger. We could make food more available to people who are poor. And not waste all the food we haven't ate.

  • mthor-wim5
    12/13/2018 - 01:01 p.m.

    There could be so few ways we can solve this problem that has been going on for a very long time. I think a way that this could be solved is by going to those places where they are having these problems and we could take those people from where even they are and take them to a organization. If they don't want to leave there home because they like it there, we will give then a lot of food, enough for their whole family.

  • SummerS-dec
    12/18/2018 - 09:46 a.m.

    I would ask MrBeast for 1000 dollars to give to the hungry people. I would also have MrBeast upload a video to yt. Then I would be famous

  • LeeAnnH-dec
    12/18/2018 - 01:16 p.m.

    One way to solve world hunger is to control world population. The population of the world is growing fastly and everyday. The death rates are going down too. But everyday the birth rate or known as worlds population are going up.

  • RyleighE-dec
    1/02/2019 - 01:00 p.m.

    grow food duh:) and trade

  • RenwickA-dec
    1/02/2019 - 01:09 p.m.

    i do think that this article is a great way to show people the importance of the situation. i do also think that that there is a possibility that in the next coming years that we will not have enough food and we will be overpopulated and not have enough food for all people in the world

  • Rileya-eic
    1/08/2019 - 03:06 p.m.

    I think the best way to solve world hunger would be to go to their place and make sure u grab food and make food for them that they can save.

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