Of the 150 million, 103 million more people went hungry between 2019 and 2020, and there were 46 million more in 2021 as a result of “severe extreme climate events … disrupting supply chains,” the war in Ukraine, and several other factors, according to a report from the United Nations.
“Despite hopes that the world would emerge more quickly from the crisis and food security would begin to recover from the pandemic in 2021, world hunger rose further in 2021, following a sharp upturn in 2020 in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the report said.
Approximately 2.3 billion people in the world suffered food insecurity in 2021, with 11.7% of the global population facing food insecurity at severe levels. There were 3.1 billion people around the world who couldn’t afford a “healthy diet” in 2020, or a 112-million-person increase from 2019, “reflecting the inflation in consumer food prices stemming from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures put in place to contain it,” the report added.
Governments should rethink their food production processes to ease widespread malnutrition, the U.N. said.
“The evidence suggests that if governments repurpose the resources to prioritize food consumers, and to incentivize sustainable production, supply and consumption of nutritious foods, they will help make healthy diets less costly and more affordable for all,” the report said.
Support for social protection initiatives could help households prepare for unforeseen circumstances that lead to hunger, according to the report.