In 2020, 265 million people may find themselves in a situation of acute food shortage.
According to the organization’s annual report published on Tuesday, 2019 saw a record number of people facing acute food shortages – 135 million people in 55 countries and territories. According to the organization’s forecasts, in 2010 there will be almost twice as many – 265 million.
“In many places, we still cannot collect reliable and timely data to truly know the scale and severity of food crises,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. “And the upheaval caused by the CAVID – 19 pandemics could put even more families and communities in an even more difficult situation.”
The world food crisis network, which brings together UN agencies, governmental and non-governmental organizations, notes that in 2019, there were 20 million more hungry people in the world than in 2017 when the first report was compiled.
The authors of the report attribute this to the aggravation of economic shocks and conflicts, as well as to drought and other weather events.
The report also notes that another 183 million people are at risk of a food crisis if additional stressors, such as the coronavirus pandemic, occur.
The authors warn that the pandemic could disrupt important food supply chains, especially in vulnerable countries such as South Sudan, Yemen, and Afghanistan.
More than half of the 135 million hungry people are in Africa, 43 million in Asia and the Middle East, and another 18 million in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The report also notes that it may become more difficult for rich countries to help resolve food crises when their socio-economic situation is affected by a coronavirus.
The organization promises to continue its work, helping millions of people in need around the world and providing up-to-date information about the impact of COVID-19 on food security.