Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

The number of undernourished people around the globe increased to nearly 821 million in 2017, the third straight year of growth and the highest figure since 2009, according to a new report from the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization.

Expand chart
Adapted from Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, "The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World"; Chart: Axios Visuals

Why it matters: Along with conflict and instability, this rise in global hunger is driven increasingly by climate change and related extreme weather events, putting some of the world's most vulnerable citizens at even greater risk.

  • Food insecurity was found to be significantly worse in countries where people are dependent on agriculture for their livelihood, especially when they don't have systems in place to counter the effects of climate shocks.
  • "It is shocking that, after a prolonged decline, this is the third consecutive year of rising hunger. The inescapable fact is that climate change is now leaving people around the world without enough to eat," Robin Willoughby, head of food and climate policy at Oxfam GB, told The Guardian.

The big picture: Climate change has the potential to erode the gains made toward fighting global hunger over the past decade — which were largely due to political stability, economic growth and greater social protections in the developing world — as extreme weather kicks off more and more societal crises around the world. Some specific weather trends are triggering the worst climate shocks on food stores:

  • Higher temperatures — and spikes in temperature anomalies — can affect crop yields.
  • Severe droughts and floods linked to climate change have both seen an uptick in recent years — most notably, flood-related disasters spiked 65% in the last quarter-century.
  • Changes in seasonality, especially in the developing world, throw off rainfall patterns and growing seasons.

Of the 51 countries that faced food crises in 2017, 34 had climate shocks, per the UN report. The food security threat deepened in the 14 countries that simultaneously faced conflict and regional instability in addition to climate shocks.

  • Yemen, where 22 million out of 27 million citizens are in need of humanitarian assistance, perhaps best represents this horror. Already one of the world's poorest countries, Yemen faces the combination of an ongoing civil war and serious famine that led UN Ambassador Nikki Haley to remark "no one should ever have to live the way the people of Yemen are living."

The bottom line: Without significant action to address climate change, some of the world's most vulnerable citizens may face increasing risk from global hunger, which was on a marked downward trend just 5 years ago — and the UN had hoped to eliminate fully by 2030.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Fall and winter COVID surge "unlikely" if people get vaccinated.
  2. Politics: School boards are the next political battleground.
  3. Vaccines: Pfizer begins application for full FDA vaccine approval — Moderna says its COVID booster shot shows promise against variants.
  4. Economy: U.S. adds just 266,000 jobs in April, far below expectations.
  5. World: Asia faces massive new COVID surgeIndia records its deadliest day of the pandemic.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Kevin McCarthy officially endorses Elise Stefanik to replace Liz Cheney

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) officially endorsed Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) to become the GOP's next House Republican conference chair during a Fox News appearance Sunday.

Why it matters: The GOP has been feuding internally over the fate of the current chair, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), because of her criticisms of former President Donald Trump, and her vote to impeach him for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Fauci: Vaccines could turn COVID-19 "surges" into "blips"

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told "Meet the Press" Sunday that if more Americans get vaccinated in accordance with the Biden administration's goals, COVID-19 surges may be replaced by "blips."

State of play: Last week President Joe Biden announced his goal to get 160 million Americans fully vaccinated by July 4, with at least 70% of Americans having at least one shot.