World hunger worsened by climate change, conflict: UN Secretary General

UN Secretary-General on Monday warned that and conflict are both a consequence and a driver of poverty, income inequality and food prices.

Guterres also told a meeting in Rome that the world’s food system generates a third of all greenhouse gas emissions. That same system is responsible for as much as 80% of biodiversity loss, he lamented in a video message.

The gathering was called to help prepare for a UN food systems summit to be held in September in New York.

Earlier this month, a UN report noted that up to 161 million more people faced last year compared to 2019, with much of that widened suffering likely linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Poverty, income inequality and the high cost of food continue to keep healthy diets out of the reach of some 3 billion people,” Guterres said. “and conflict are both consequences and drivers of this catastrophe.”

The Fund for Agricultural Development called on decision-makers to address the failures in food systems” that leave hundreds of millions of people poor and hungry. IFAD is a UN agency which aims to help small-scale farming.

IFAD said food systems must radically change to ensure access to affordable and healthy food, where food production protects the environment and biodiversity, and where people who produce our food are paid decently for their labour.” It added that the needs of rural people must be at the centre.

In 2020, as many as 811 million people faced hunger, according to the UN report earlier this month.

Guterres said the preparatory work in Rome will help set the tone for action this decade and for an “equitable and sustainable recovery from COVID-19.

Such efforts carry a substantial monetary price tag.

The chief economist of the Rome-based UN Food and Agriculture Organization has said that removing 100 million people from chronic undernourishment would need an additional $14 billion (nearly 12 billion euros) every year until 2030 and nearly triple that amount to achieve the UN goal of zero by 2030.

According to UN projections, the goal will be missed by a margin of nearly 660 million people, with about 30 million of that figure possibly “linked to the pandemic’s lasting effects.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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