The UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) annual State of Food Security and Nutrition 2021 estimates that between 720 million and 811 million people were affected by hunger in 2020.
The text reiterated that around three billion people are deprived of affording a healthy diet to protect themselves against malnutrition and warns that another billion are equally at risk if any shock were to reduce their income by a third.
The foreword, signed by FAO Director-General QU Dongyu, notes that border closures and curfews to contain the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, restrictions on the movement of people and goods, particularly in the early stages of the pandemic, hampered the flow of inputs to farmers and the flow of their products to markets.
The FAO document acknowledges that even before the pandemic, the world was not on track to meet the shared commitment to end hunger and malnutrition in all its forms by 2030, a UN target that in this case slipped even further away.
QU Dongyu concludes in his presentation that FAO is firmly committed to seizing the opportunity offered by events such as the UN Food Systems Summit and others to move from commitments to action.