What should have been on the decline for over a decade is on the rise again:  11 percent of the global population, or 815 million people, faced hunger in 2016, according to the United Nations report on food security.

As with the hunger problem, multiple forms of malnutrition are also emerging to further compound the problem, the  State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2017 said.

The report is the first UN global assessment on food security after the establishment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The report identified conflict with the complication of  climate change - a change in regional or global climate patterns - as significant contributory factors in world hunger and malnutrition forms.

“The increase - 38 million more people than the previous year - is largely due to the proliferation of violent conflicts and climate-related shocks,” the agency wrote in the report.

Furthermore, other international agencies, such as the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO), World Food Programme (WFP), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) all noted cases are mostly concentrated in such areas.

In countries where there is crisis, people are nearly 2.5 times more likely to be undernourished.

Among children, some 155 million aged under five have stunting, or when they are too short for their age, while 52 million suffer from wasting, or when their weight is to too low for their age.

However, the problem is not just on wasting, because on the other side of the spectrum 41 million children are also overweight.

Further, anaemic women and obesity among adults are some of the worrisome concerns.

These trends are a consequence not only of conflict and climate change but also of sweeping changes in dietary habits as well as economic slowdowns, the report further stated.

“This has set off alarm bells we cannot afford to ignore: we will not end hunger and all forms of malnutrition by 2030 unless we address all the factors that undermine food security and nutrition. Securing peaceful and inclusive societies is a necessary condition to that end,” the world agencies warned. MIMS

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