Fighting hunger

Global hunger on the rise for the first time in a decade: UN report

It has affected 815 million people, or 11% of the world’s population.

Nearly 11% of the world’s population, or 815 million people, were chronically undernourished in 2016, according to a United Nations report. This is 38 million more people than 2015.

The increase, the first in a decade, is largely due to rising violent conflicts, climate change, lifestyle changes and economic slowdown. Of the 815 million, 520 million people are from Asian countries.

The report – The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, 2017 – says that malnutrition is threatening millions across the globe. Nearly 155 million children aged under five are too short for their age, while 52 million are underweight, and about 41 million are overweight. Anaemia among women is another major problem, it says.

The report was jointly prepared by the Food and Agriculture Organisation, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the World Food Programme and the World Health Organisation. It is also the UN’s first global assessment on food security and nutrition released since countries adopted the agenda for sustainable development, which aims to end hunger and malnutrition by 2030, the World Health Organisation said.

“This has set off alarm bells we cannot afford to ignore,” the five organisations said. “We will not end hunger and all forms of malnutrition by 2030 unless we address all the factors that undermine food security and nutrition.” To meet this, it is important to ensure the world is peaceful and inclusive, they said.

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Children's Day is not for children alone

It’s also a time for adults to revisit their childhood.

Most adults look at childhood wistfully, as a time when the biggest worry was a scraped knee, every adult was a source of chocolate and every fight lasted only till the next playtime. Since time immemorial, children seem to have nailed the art of being joyful, and adults can learn a thing or two about stress-free living from them. Now it’s that time of the year again when children are celebrated for...simply being children, and let it serve as a timely reminder for adults to board that imaginary time machine and revisit their childhood. If you’re unable to unbuckle yourself from your adult seat, here is some inspiration.

Start small, by doodling at the back page of your to-do diary as a throwback to that ancient school tradition. If you’re more confident, you could even start your own comic strip featuring people in your lives. You can caricaturise them or attribute them animal personalities for the sake of humour. Stuck in a boring meeting? Draw your boss with mouse ears or your coffee with radioactive powers. Just make sure you give your colleagues aliases.

Pull a prank, those not resulting in revenue losses of course. Prank calls, creeping up behind someone…pull them out from your memory and watch as everyone has a good laugh. Dress up a little quirky for work. It’s time you tried those colourful ties, or tastefully mismatched socks. Dress as your favourite cartoon characters someday – it’s as easy as choosing a ponytail-style, drawing a scar on your forehead or converting a bath towel into a cape. Even dinner can be full of childish fun. No, you don’t have to eat spinach if you don’t like it. Use the available cutlery and bust out your favourite tunes. Spoons and forks are good enough for any beat and for the rest, count on your voice to belt out any pitch. Better yet, stream the classic cartoons of your childhood instead of binge watching drama or news; they seem even funnier as an adult. If you prefer reading before bedtime, do a reread of your favourite childhood book(s). You’ll be surprised by their timeless wisdom.

A regular day has scope for childhood indulgences in every nook and cranny. While walking down a lane, challenge your friend to a non-stop game of hopscotch till the end of the tiled footpath. If you’re of a petite frame, insist on a ride in the trolley as you about picking items in the supermarket. Challenge your fellow gym goers and trainers to a hula hoop routine, and beat ‘em to it!

Children have an incredible ability to be completely immersed in the moment during play, and acting like one benefits adults too. Just count the moments of precious laughter you will have added to your day in the process. So, take time to indulge yourself and celebrate life with child-like abandon, as the video below shows.

Play

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of SBI Life and not by the Scroll editorial team.