Photo : YONHAP News
Anchor: A group of United Nations agencies has released a joint annual report, assessing that a convergence of factors, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, inflation and urbanization, forced over a billion people in the Asia-Pacific region to struggle with food insecurity and malnutrition.
Choi You Sun has this report.
Report: Four United Nations agencies, including the Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO) and the World Food Programme(WFP), published an annual report on Tuesday that said over one billion people in the Asia-Pacific are facing food insecurity.
According to the report, in 2021, an estimated one-point-05 billion people in the region suffered from moderate to severe food insecurity, of which 396 million were undernourished.
Nearly 75 million children below the age of five are stunted, amounting to half of the world’s total.
Poor diet quality also caused a rise in overweight and obesity among children in the region, setting off alarms as obesity has a major economic impact by reducing productivity and life expectancy, while increasing disability and health care costs.
The COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine and inflation have pushed up the average cost of a healthy diet in the Asia-Pacific to nearly four dollars a day, which is unaffordable for one-point-nine billion people, or 44-point-five percent of the region’s population.
The FAO Food Price Index(FPI), which peaked following the outbreak of the Ukraine war last March, has since declined but still remains 28 percent higher than levels from 2020. The agency forecasts food import bills to hit a new record of one-point-94 trillion dollars this year.
The report expected the rapid urbanization in the region to further exacerbate the crisis surrounding food security and nutrition, with nearly 55 percent of the region’s population forecast to reside in urban areas by 2030.
Choi You Sun, KBS World Radio News.
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