People who are undernourished are chronically hungry, meaning they don’t have enough to eat for a normal, healthy and active life for a period of at least a year. This condition is particularly severe for children, with repercussions that can become permanent. Nearly 10% of everyone on Earth – an estimated 768 million of us – were undernourished in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted economies, job markets and supply chains and inflated food prices. According to the latest edition of an annual food security report from the UN, the total sharply increased by an additional 118 million people from 2019, when 8.4% of the world’s population was undernourished. Many years of progress in reducing this problem around the globe had already faltered, starting in 2014. Unfortunately, in addition to lingering economic problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic, famine now looms in many places. As a result, prospects for a full economic rebound in the world’s poorest countries remained weak as of the summer of 2021.
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