820 mln people do not have enough to eat: UN secy gen

Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations. Reuters photo

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has expressed concern over the global food situation wherein "more than 820 million people do not have enough to eat" while one billion tonnes of food is wasted every year.

In his message on 'World Food Day', which was released here on Thursday by the UN India, he said, "It is unacceptable that hunger is on the rise at a time when the world wastes more than one billion tonnes of food every year."

Two billion men, women, and children are overweight or obese. Unhealthy diets present an enormous risk of disease and death, Guterres said, adding that "it is time to change how we produce and consume, including to reduce greenhouse emissions".

World Food Day marked call for zero hunger "for a world where nutritious food is available and affordable for everyone, everywhere". Transforming food systems is crucial for delivering all the sustainable development goals (SDG) and "that is why I hope to convene a 'Food Systems Summit in 2021' as part of a decade of action to deliver SDG. As a human family, a world free of hunger is our imperative, he said.

Climate emergency was an increasing threat to food, the UN Secretary-General warned.

According to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) report, India has the world's largest undernourished population with 194.4 million (14.5 per cent). About 20.8 per cent children under the age of five years are underweight. Similarly, 37.9 per cent of children in that age group are stunted.

As high as 51.4 per cent of Indian women in the reproductive age of 15-49 years are anaemic, the report claimed. 

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