Global hunger will surge by about a third this year, driven by lingering income losses from the pandemic, according to the US Department of Agriculture.
The department’s annual assessment of food security in 76 middle- and low-income nations that are past or current recipients of US food aid estimates an additional 291 million people in those countries won’t have enough to eat in 2021. That comes on top of a huge spike in hunger last year as the pandemic unleashed economic distress.
The United Nations earlier this month estimated global food insecurity in 2020 had already hit the highest level in 15 years as income loss made healthy diets out of reach for about a 10th of the global population. Things are projected to get worse in 2021 as commodity inflation and disrupted supply chains sent world food prices to the highest in almost a decade, particularly bad news for poorer countries dependent on food imports.
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