Saving livelihoods saves lives 2018
In recent years, the number of people experiencing hunger – both chronic and acute – has been alarmingly and persistently high. The annual State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World has repeatedly flagged global attention to the steady rise in the number of people experiencing hunger and malnutrition (815 million people in 2016 and 821 million in 2017), focusing on the role that conflict and climate change play in deepening hunger and vulnerability. At the same time, the annual Global Report on Food Crises has drawn attention to the growing number of people facing acute hunger. Last year, 2018, was no exception. Some 113 million people in 53 countries suffered from acute hungry, according to the Global Report. That is 113 million girls, boys, men and women, old and young, who were unable to access enough food and required humanitarian assistance. Much of this hunger is driven by stresses – conflict, climate and economic shocks – that have disrupted livelihoods and left people unable to meet their needs. However, for the most part, the stress is the result of a constant erosion of livelihoods and food systems – as a result of climate change, conflict and political instability, environmental degradation and repeated shocks. For the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), building resilient agriculture-based livelihoods and food systems is at the core of its efforts to fight acute hunger and avert food crises.