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Coronavirus

Food insecure Asians doubled to 265m in 2020: UN report

World Food Program faces budget pinch as governments face 'harsh reality'

A boy carries a bag of onions at a food distribution center at a Rohingya refugee camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh: The WFP's efforts have been hit by COVID-19. (Photo by Yuji Kuronuma)

TOKYO -- The COVID-19 pandemic may erase many of the gains made in food security and nutrition in the Asia-Pacific region, as stretched government budgets exacerbate chronic underinvestment in social protection, warns a group of U.N. bodies.

The pandemic has pushed an estimated 140 million people in the Asia-Pacific region into extreme poverty and doubled the number facing acute food insecurity to 265 million, according to a report released on Wednesday by the World Food Program, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Health Organization and UNICEF.

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