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Washington, D.C. – A new report released today by the United Nations states that the number of people suffering from hunger has increased for the fourth year in a row. According to the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2019 (SOFI), more than 820 million people worldwide suffered from hunger in 2018.
“After decades of progress, world hunger is increasing,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “The U.S. government is not providing leadership in addressing the causes of this tragedy.” The SOFI report explains that conflict, climate change, and the global economic slowdown are the primary drivers of the current setback in progress against world hunger. Beckmann is in New York for the release of the report.
The report estimates that more than 2 billion people do not have regular access to safe, nutritious, and sufficient food – including 8 percent of people living in North America and Europe. Bread for the World’s 2019 Hunger Report “Back to Basics” addresses root causes of hunger and outlines solutions. The report will be released later this month.
The SOFI highlights one bright spot related to world hunger. The number of children under the age of five suffering from stunting (impaired physical and cognitive development) has declined by 10 percent over the past 6 years.
“This progress against child malnutrition is partly because our government has helped to promote new, evidence-based nutrition programs in poor countries around the world over the last decade,” said Beckmann. “Bread for the World and its members are campaigning to sustain and improve U.S. leadership in reducing child malnutrition.”
Bipartisan resolutions in support of sustained and improved U.S. leadership on child malnutrition have gained strong support in both the House and Senate. Bread for the World is urging Congress to pass these resolutions and increase its appropriation for global nutrition programs to $250 million for fiscal year 2020.
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Conflict is a main driver of the recent increase in hunger around the world and of forced migration. Hunger also contributes to conflict.
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