The number of hungry people around the globe is alarming as one in nine of the world’s population still does not have enough to eat, says a report by the United Nations.
A report issued by three UN food and agriculture agencies said the number of chronically undernourished people dropped by more than 100 million over the past decade. However, 805 million of people worldwide still struggle hunger.
“We cannot celebrate yet because we must reach 805 million people without enough food for a healthy and productive life,” said World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director Ertharin Cousin.
In Asia, the world’s most populous region, the number of undernourished people has dropped nearly 50 percent since 1990. Nevertheless, over five hundred million people in the continent still go hungry, led by India with 191 million, according to the report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the WFP.
The report added that sub-Saharan Africa, in contrast to much of Asia, continues to struggle with the world’s highest rates of hunger.
Reportedly, chief among the causes of concern is the Ebola virus which is threatening food security in Africa. Ebola which has killed more than 2,400 people this year, endangered harvests and sent food prices soaring in West Africa and is rapidly creating a major food crisis there, Cousin said.
In the Central African Republic, where 38 percent of the population is undernourished, an ongoing civil war has led to widespread displacement. This has led to disruptions in food supply and distribution.
Researchers from the FAO and the WFP note that parts of Africa and Asia are plagued by low income, poor agricultural development, and few social safety nets.
In some countries, such as North Korea, the political climate limits trade and food aid.
According to the data gathered, the problem of hunger is not something isolated to third world countries. In the US, millions of children go to sleep hungry every night.
While the report argued that the world can end hunger by 2025, it also said that major challenges loom on the horizon, such as population growth, climate change, and political instability in parts of the Middle East and Africa.