Hunger in the Near East and North Africa region (NENA) continues to rise as conflicts threaten the region’s efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including Zero Hunger.
This is according to the regional overview of Food Security and Nutrition in the Near East and North Africa, published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), which indicates that 52 million people in the region are suffering from chronic undernourishment.
The report shows that not only do conflicts undermine the region’s Zero Hunger efforts, but also the degree of rural transformation.
“Countries that are not in conflict and have gone furthest in transforming rural areas in a sustainable way including through better management of water resources, have achieved better food security and nutrition outcomes than those in conflict or with lower levels of rural transformation,” said Abdessalam Ould Ahmed, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for the Near East and North Africa.
He noted on how the report stresses that more efforts are needed to boost rural employment, stimulate economic growth in rural areas, reduce urban-rural gaps, and improve agricultural productivity and rural infrastructure and services.
“Conflicts and civil instability have long-lasting impacts on the food and nutrition security of both affected and surrounding countries in the regions”
“The impact of conflict has been disrupting food and livestock production in some countries and consequently affecting the availability of food across the region”
“Rising hunger is also compounded by rapid population growth, scarce and fragile natural resources, the growing threat of climate change, increasing unemployment rates, and diminished rural infrastructure and services,” Ould Ahmed underscored.
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