Long before the pandemic swept into her village in the rugged southeast of Afghanistan, Halima Bibi knew the gnawing fear of hunger. It was an omnipresent force, an unrelenting source of anxiety as she struggled to nourish her four children.
The world is hurtling toward an unprecedented hunger crisis. As many as 132 million more people than previously projected could go hungry in 2020, and this year's gain may be more than triple any increase this century.
While the world fights to slow the spread of COVID-19, the worst pandemic experienced in a century, countries in South and Southwest Asia are simultaneously responding to plagues of pests which threaten to worsen hunger and the livelihoods of millions of people, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) warned on Saturday.
Nearly a half-billion people in the Asia-Pacific are still malnourished and eliminating hunger by 2030 requires that millions escape food insecurity each month, according to a report released on Wednesday by UN agencies.