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Seven facts on global hunger as World Food Programme wins Nobel

by Amber Milne | @hiyaimamber | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Friday, 9 October 2020 12:07 GMT

A Palestinian carries food supplies at an aid distribution center run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), in Al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza City September 25, 2019. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

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The United Nations’ World Food Programme has won the Nobel Peace Prize for their work fighting world hunger. Here are seven things to know about hunger around the world

By Amber Milne

LONDON, Oct 9 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The United Nations' World Food Programme (WFP) won the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for its efforts to combat hunger around the world and improve conditions for peace in areas affected by conflict.

For more than 50 years the WFP has worked to improve food security around the world, but conflict, climate shocks and economic slowdowns mean almost one in 11 people globally still do not have enough to eat.

Here are seven things to know about world hunger:

1. Globally, 690 million people, about 8.9% of the population, go hungry - up by nearly 60 million in five years.

2. The United Nations estimates that over 130 million more people may go hungry in 2020 due to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

3. A quarter of the world's population does not have reliable access to safe and nutritious food. In Africa, half of the population faces shortages.

4. Though Africa has the highest number of people struggling to access food, Latin America and the Caribbean are seeing the fastest rises.

5. Healthy food is unaffordable to many, especially the poor, in every region of the world. Around 57% of people in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia cannot afford a healthy diet.

6. Worldwide, women are more likely to go hungry than men, with the situation exacerbated by laws and cultural norms that restrict access to property, equal pay and health care.

7. Despite goals to achieve zero hunger by 2030, the United Nations estimates that the number of hungry people will rise to 840 million in five years if current trends continue.

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Why is coronavirus causing rising hunger in middle-income countries?

Coronavirus shocks to fuel years of unrest and hunger in poorest economies

Africa faces 'hunger pandemic' as coronavirus destroys jobs and fuels poverty

(Source: World Food Programme)

(Reporting by Amber Milne; Editing by Belinda Goldsmith and Helen Popper. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit http://news.trust.org)

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.