Hunger is increasing in the Arab world, according to the United Nations

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported Thursday that 69 million people will suffer from malnutrition in the Arab world in 2020, with a third of the population of 420 million people not getting enough food.

Between 2019 and 2020, 4.8 million residents of the Arab world were malnourished “in all social classes and in countries affected or not affected by conflict,” the Food and Agriculture Organization explains.

But it adds that the two worst affected countries are Somalia, where 59.5% of the population suffers from hunger while the fragile federal government has faced a jihadist insurgency since 2007, and Yemen has been at war for seven years with hunger affecting 45.4% of its population. population.

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Yemen also holds the sad record of anemia, which in 2020 affected 61.5% of women of childbearing age.

A malnourished Yemeni child is measured at a treatment center in Hajjah Governorate, northern Yemen, July 5, 2020 (ESSA AHMED / AFP)

In addition to these severe cases, “about 141 million people did not have access to adequate food, or 10 million more than in 2019,” the UN agency report notes.

With this new increase, hunger has increased by 91.1% in the Arab world over the past 20 years, the Food and Agriculture Organization estimates.

And it bore with it public health problems: 20.5% of the region’s children under the age of five were stunted and 10.7% were overweight.

The issue of obesity in adults is also a matter of increasing concern in the Arab world, with a steady increase since 2000 according to the Food and Agriculture Organization.

In 2020, it reached 28.8%, more than double the global average of 13.1%.

The countries most affected are the richest, led by the Gulf states, with a peak of 37.4% in Kuwait.

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