UN says Africa is the worst hit region with climate change resulting to the biggest impact on acute food insecurity in which women are more vulnerable.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) made this known in the 2018 global report on the State of Food Security and Nutrition released in Rome.
The report was jointly signed by five head of UN agencies.They are José da Silva, Director-General, FAO, Gilbert Houngbo, President International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organisation (WHO), Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF and David Beasley, Executive Director, World Food Programme (WFP).
It identified the effects of climate variability on rainfall patterns and agricultural seasons, and climate extremes such as droughts and floods, as the key drivers of the rise in hunger, conflict and economic slowdowns.
The UN agencies noted that changes in climate is already undermining production of major crops such as wheat, rice and maize in tropical and temperate regions. And without building climate resilience, the situation is expected to worsen as temperatures increased and became more extreme.
The report also showed that the prevalence and number of undernourished people tended to be higher in countries highly exposed to climate extremes.
It said that undernourishment is higher again when exposure to climate extremes is compounded by a high proportion of the population depending on agricultural systems that were highly sensitive to rainfall and temperature variability.
The report noted that women worldwide are especially vulnerable to the impact of climate extremes, particularly in countries where even a semblance of gender parity remained a distance dream.
The UN report stressed that to achieve a world without hunger and malnutrition in all its forms by 2030, it was imperative to accelerate and scale up actions to strengthen the resilience and adaptive capacity of food systems and people’s livelihoods in response to climate variability and extremes.