In 2021, the number of people affected by hunger in the world reached 828 million, the 9.8% of the world population. This represents an increase of 46 million since 2020 and 150 million since the start of the pandemic according to United Nations data.

Furthermore, in the report State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2022, the UN highlights the regression of the world in its efforts to end hunger, food insecurity and poverty malnutrition by 2030.

Only eight years separate us from 2030, but the distance to achieve many of the goals of SDG 2 (zero hunger) is greater every year. Efforts are really being made to move towards the objective, although they are proving insufficient.

[ODS 2: Hambre cero Estas son las claves del segundo Objetivo de Desarrollo Sostenible, que busca acabar con el hambre en todo el planeta]

This will be the case until agri-food systems are transformed, more resilient, and provide nutritious food at lower cost and affordable, healthy diets for all, sustainable and inclusive way.

Extreme hunger and malnutrition continue to be a huge obstacle to sustainable development and constitute a trap from which it is not easy to escape and the figures speak for themselves.

Are 795 million people those who currently suffer from hunger, with 2 billion more people estimated to be in that situation by 2050. In addition to the fact that last year they were 2.3 billion people, almost 30% of the world population, those affected by food insecurity.

The agencies, according to UNICEF, report that nearly 3,100 million people could not afford a healthy diet in 2020 and that almost 45 million children under the age of five presented emaciationthe most lethal form of malnutrition, since it increases up to twelve times the risk of dying.

[Mesa redonda. Hambre cero]

What foods can save them

Montse Escruela Cabrera, Reference in Nutrition of the Medical Department of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) differentiates various products depending on the type of malnutrition; be it acute, severe or chronic malnutrition.


From different organizations they developed a ready-to-use therapeutic food (Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food in English): it is a prepared paste based on peanutsrich in nutrients, which helps save the lives of millions of children threatened by acute malnutrition around the world.

This food has enormous benefits because it does not need cold storage and it stays fresh for up to two years. Its main objective is rapid weight gain, provided on an outpatient basis for “avoid hospital admissions for a month that occurred in 2000″, adds the person in charge of MSF.

Also, does not mix with water which, in many areas, could be contaminated. Each pack comes ready to use. Parents have to open the package, give it to the children and watch how they grow up healthy and strong.

One carton of the food contains 150 packets, enough for six to eight weeks of treatment to restore the health of a child with severe malnutrition. By the end of 2022, organizations like UNICEF want to reach 7.2 million boys and girls suffering from severe acute malnutrition.


While RUFT is a therapeutic treatment, RUSF is preventive, since it is aimed at alleviating moderate malnutrition and preventing severe malnutrition. It is adapted for children between 6 months and 2 years.


LNS is the product designed for children under two years of age and to prevent them from falling into acute and severe malnutrition. It seeks to cover all the deficiencies of that child along with the integration of other products such as essential micronutrients for her growth.

As for the vitamin and mineral packets, Escruela Cabrera adds that these specifically “are aimed at chronic malnutrition when children do not reach their growth curves.”


For the person in charge of Nutrition in the MSF Medical Department, the flagship product” it is BP5, which serves as a supplement to meet adult needs.

It consists of a package of compact biscuits that covers all the needs and with which a person can be fed at least once a day.

It is key, for example, in situations of population movements such as refugees. Given the scarcity of food due to displacements, this food can be used to supplement themselves and reach some necessary nutrients of the day.

[Día Mundial de la Alimentación: hagamos real el hambre cero en 2030]

But these products are not the only ones that can save thousands of people at risk of malnutrition.

According to research carried out by scientists at Washington University in St. Louis, United States, there are three more: A diet rich in bananas, chickpeas and peanuts improves the intestinal flora of malnourished children, giving them a renewed boost to their growth.

These foods were particularly good for stimulate bacteria healthy, according to their study of severely malnourished children in Bangladesh.

Certainly for them, targeting microbes for recovery is the key, as they don’t see bananas or nuts, they just see a mix of nutrients that they can use and share.

[Comer no significa alimentarse: ¿Qué es el hambre oculta y cómo se combate?]

The formula worked better in humans and animals, as it produced greater repair. And it is that in diets with abundant rice or lentils they did not work so well and, in some cases, they still produced further damage to the intestinal flora.

Source: Elespanol

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J. A. Allen

Author, blogger, freelance writer. Hater of spiders. Drinker of wine. Mother of hellions.

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