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COVID-19 pandemic hit may lead people to slip into hunger this year, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres cautioned the world.

He sounded the alarm in a video message on Monday during the launch of “The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2020” report, which says almost 690 million people went hungry in 2019, up by 10 million from 2018, and by nearly 60 million in five years, Xinhua news agency reported.

“This year’s State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report sends a sobering message. In much of the world, hunger remains deeply entrenched and is rising,” said Guterres in the video message.

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The COVID-19 pandemic is making things even worse. Many more people could slip into hunger this year, he said.

“The report is clear: if the current trend continues, we will not achieve Sustainable Development Goal 2 — zero hunger — by 2030.”

Guterres said transformation can begin now. Investments in COVID-19 response and recovery need to help deliver on the longer-term goal of a more inclusive and sustainable world.

Chennai: The Tamil Nadu Government received 24,000 COVID-19 rapid test kits out of an order of 1.25 lakh placed with a Chinese company, in Chennai on Apr 18, 2020. (Photo: IANS) by .
 (Photo: IANS)

“We must make food systems more sustainable, resilient and inclusive — for people and the planet.”

He said he will convene a Food Systems Summit next year. “We must make healthy diets affordable and accessible to everyone.”

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