UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Liu Zhenmin (C) speaks to journalists during a press briefing on the launching of the Sustainable Development Goals Report 2019, at the UN headquarters in New York, on July 9, 2019. Despite earlier extended progress, the number of people suffering from hunger has been on the rise since 2014, the UN report said Tuesday. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)
UNITED NATIONS, July 9 (Xinhua) -- Despite earlier extended progress, the number of people suffering from hunger has been on the rise since 2014, a UN report said Tuesday.
The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2019 said that in a worrisome trend, the number of undernourished people went up to an estimated 821 million in 2017 from 784 million in 2015.
In particular, the situation deteriorated significantly in sub-Saharan Africa, where the number of undernourished people increased from 195 million in 2014 to 237 million in 2017, it showed.
Also, sub-Saharan Africa remains the region with the highest prevalence of hunger, with the rate increasing from 20.7 percent in 2014 to 23.2 percent in 2017.
Looking at the young age group, the report noted since 2000, while the proportion of stunted children has been declining, some 149 million children under 5 years of age -- 22 percent of the global under-5 population -- were still chronically undernourished in 2018.
"Three quarters of those children live in Southern Asia (39 percent) and sub-Saharan Africa (36 percent)," it said.
The report said in 2018, 49 million children under 5 years of age -- 7.3 percent of the global under-5 population -- suffered from acute undernutrition, or wasting.
The global wasting rate in 2018 remained well above the 5 percent global target for 2025 and 3 percent target for 2030.
The report stressed that intensified efforts are needed to implement and scale up interventions to improve access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food for all people in the wake of conflicts, climate-induced shocks and economic slowdowns worldwide.
"Specifically, attention needs to be given to increasing the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, implementing resilient agricultural practices, and ensuring the proper functioning of markets," it added.
The annual Sustainable Development Goals Report provides an overview of the world's progress toward achieving the 17 goals set out in the UN 2030 Agenda adopted in 2015, highlighting areas of progress and areas where more action needs to be taken to ensure no one is left behind.
The 17 sustainable development goals include No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Quality Education, Reduced Inequalities, Sustainable Cities and Communities, and Climate Action.