After nearly a decade of progress, global hunger is on the rise. A UN report on food security and nutrition released last month estimates that 815 million people, or 11 percent of the global population, are chronically malnourished. This is an increase of nearly 40 million people over the previous year.
The trend has reversed course because of two primary causes: conflict and climate change. More than half of those experiencing extreme hunger live in countries affected by protracted conflict. Droughts and natural disasters pose a serious threat to food security, particularly to smallholder farmers vulnerable to a volatile climate.