According to data compiled by the US Department of Agriculture, more than a billion people in 76 countries will face a food crisis in 2021. At the same time, the number of hungry people will grow by about a third, and the lack of food will affect almost three million people, Bloomberg reports.

The United States provides food support to 76 middle-and low-income countries. According to the agency’s estimate, 1.2 billion people will experience a food problem, and 291 million residents of these countries will be malnourished in 2021 (2100 calories are considered the minimum amount that a person should consume to be healthy and active). The pandemic, which caused a serious food problem last year, is to blame for everything. Before the coronavirus crisis, the ministry estimates that 761 million people were malnourished, less than 20 percent of the population.

Most of the victims of food shortages live in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Indonesia. However, the problem is most acute in Yemen, Zimbabwe, and the Congo, where about 80 percent of citizens will be malnourished. The agency notes that problems with food supply carry additional risks to political stability in Asia and Africa.

The main reason for hunger is the constant decline in income in countries compared to the pre-pandemic level. The ministry clarified that the forecasts do not consider the potential impact of climate change, armed conflict, political or economic instability.

A recent study published in the journal Nature Food predicted that the exacerbation of malnutrition among mothers and children in low-and middle-income countries would cost the world $ 30 billion in lost productivity in the future.