The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2019: UN report

Indians obese but hunger a concern’ UN report
Question: Consider the following statements regarding the UN report ‘State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2019’:
(1) 820 million people across the world did not have enough to eat in 2018.

(2) In India, the number of undernourished people declined from 253.9 million in 2004-06 to 194.4 million in 2016-18.
From the above, correct statement/s is/are:

(a) Only (1)
(b) Only (2)
(c) Both (1) and (2)
(d) None of the above
Answer: (c)
Related facts:
  • On 15 July 2019, The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2019 report was launched by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • The report presents the latest estimates for food insecurity, hunger and malnutrition at global and regional levels.
  • The report’s findings are an important yardstick to measure the world’s progress towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2 Zero Hungry by 2030.
  • As per report, more than 820 million people in the world were still hungry in 2018, underscoring the immense challenge of achieving the Zero Hunger target by 2030.
  • Hunger is on the rise in almost all African subregions, making Africa the region with the highest prevalence of undernourishment. Hunger is also slowly rising in Latin America and the Caribbean, while Western Asia shows a continuous increase since 2010, with more than 12 percent of its population undernourished today.

Status of India:

  • In India, the number of under nourished people declined from 253.9 million in 2004-06 to 194.4 million in 2016-18.
  • The number of adults (18 years and older) who are obese grew from 24.1 million in 2012 to 32.8 million in 2016.
  • The number of children (under 5 years of age) who are overweight stood at 2.9 million in 2018.

Hunger Conceptualization:

  • Rise in hunger is directly proportional to income inequality.
  • Hunger is increasing in many countries where economic growth is lagging.
  • Income inequality is rising in many of the countries where hunger is on the rise, making it even more difficult for the poor, vulnerable or marginalized to cope with economic slowdowns and downturns.

Directives by UN:

  • Encouragement for pro-poor and inclusive structural transformation focusing on people and placing communities at the centre to reduce economic vulnerabilities and enough emphasis on ending hunger, food insecurity and all forms of malnutrition.

Initiatives in India:

  • The MGNREGS (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme) guarantees up to 100 days of unskilled manual work on public projects during the lean seasons, at the statutory minimum wage, to all rural households.
  • MGNREGS, introduced by India in 2005, is the largest public works programme in the world.
  • The programme helps rural households to stabilize their earnings and to smooth their consumption all along the year.


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