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UN: Latin America does not achieve objectives against hunger and food insecurity

UN: Latin America does not achieve objectives against hunger and food insecurity

Latin America is not on track to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs) or the goals established by the OWorld Health Organization (WHO)related to hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition, several international organizations warned in the report “Latin America and the Caribbean, regional overview of food security and nutrition”released this Thursday.

Despite some declines in the prevalence of hunger and food insecurity, compared to 2021, the numbers “continue to exceed pre-pandemic levels and global estimates,” point out the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Program (WFP) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

The report, which includes the main indicators of hunger, food insecurity, malnutrition in all its forms and the cost and affordability of a healthy diet, concludes that the prevalence of moderate or severe food insecurity affected women to a greater extent than men, and Its incidence increases as urbanization decreases.

By subregion, South America experienced reductions in the prevalence of hunger and moderate or severe food insecurity between 2021 and 2022.

By contrast, in Central America and Mexico, the prevalence of hunger remained the same and the prevalence of moderate or severe food insecurity increased slightly. In the Caribbean, both prevalences increased.

The countries with the highest prevalence of moderate or severe food insecurity between 2021 and 2022 are Haiti (82.6%), Guatemala (59.8%), Honduras (56.1%), Jamaica (54.4%) and the Dominican Republic (52.1%).

Malnutrition in all its forms, including childhood stunting, micronutrient deficiencies, overweight and obesity “they continue to be a challenge for the region”the organizations warn.

As detailed in the report, the cost of a healthy diet in Latin America increased from 2018 until it reached the highest cost in 2021 compared to other regions of the world, a trend that is especially evident in the Caribbean.

Regional inflation in food prices, caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, persistent inequalities, poverty levels, the climate crisis and the effects of the conflict in Ukraine, impacted the cost of a healthy diet, making it less affordable, especially for the most vulnerable groups.

As a result, a quarter of the region’s population cannot afford a healthy diet, the study reveals.

International organizations call “move towards the transformation of agri-food systems”in coordination with the strengthening of health and social protection systems, “with comprehensive actions and systemic and multisectoral approaches”at a key moment for the region, halfway through the deadline to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Source: Gestion

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