The number of people who do not have enough to eat has risen again after a decade, a United Nations report said on Wednesday. The UN Sustainable Development Goals 2018 report said that the number of hungry people in the world increased from 7.77 crore in 2015 to 8.15 crore in 2016.
Conflict and climate change are the two major contributing factors to increased hunger and forced displacement, the report said. “With just 12 years left to the 2030 deadline [to end world hunger], we must inject a sense of urgency,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a foreword to the report.
The report said conflict was the main cause of food insecurity in 20 countries that the United Nations had surveyed.
As many as 230 crore people still lack basic sanitation facilities, and over 89 crore practise open defecation. The number of people with malaria also increased from 21 crore in 2013 to 21.6 crore in 2016.
However, there is some positive news too. The number of people living on less than two dollars a day declined from 26.9% of the world’s population in 2000 to 9.2% in 2017. The mortality rate for children under five has dropped by almost 50% in the least developed countries, the report said.
Child marriage rates continue to decline around the world. In South Asia, a girl’s risk of being married off in childhood has dropped by 40% between 2000 and 2017, the report said. In 2016, the number of people living without electricity dropped below 100 crore.