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World waste 19% of foods :United Nations

Utkarsh Classes Last Updated 28-03-2024
World waste 19% of foods :United Nations Report 5 min read

According to a United Nations report, the world wasted an estimated 1,05 billion metric tonnes or 19 per cent of the food available to consumers worldwide in 2022. According to the report, this wastage occurs when 783 million people in the world go hungry, and a third of humanity faces food insecurity. 

The data on food wastage worldwide was released by the United Nation in the 3rd Food Waste Index Report 2024 prepared by the United Nations Environment Programmes published on 27 March 2024. The Food Waste Index Report is an effort of the United Nations to raise awareness about food wastage and achieve Sustainable Development Goal(SDG) 12.3, which aims to halve world food waste by 2030.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) released the first Food Waste Index Report in 2011.

Main Highlights of the 3rd Food Waste Index Report 2024

  • In 2022, 1.05 billion tonnes of food or 19 per cent of food available to consumers, was wasted at the retail, food service, and household level. This was in addition to the 13% loss estimated by the Food and Agriculture Organisation during the post-harvest supply chain.
  • Households were the major source of food wastage. Out of the total food wastage, households were responsible for 631 million tonnes, equivalent to 60 per cent, the food service sector for 290 and the retail sector for 131.
  • The annual per capita food wastage in the world is 79 kg and around one billion meals per day are wasted by households.
  • The greenhouse gases generated by food loss and waste are estimated to be 8-10 per cent of world greenhouse gas emissions. They are almost five times the total emissions generated by the aviation sector. 
  • The countries in the hotter regions have more food waste per capita in household sectors. According to the report, this could be due to a lack of cold chains and an increase in the consumption of fresh foods with substantial inedible parts. The prevalence of higher seasonal temperatures, extreme heat events, and droughts creates problems in storage, processing, and transportation, leading to significant food waste.
  • Urban-Rural Disparities: In Middle-income countries, rural populations waste less food than urban areas. The report says this could be due to the greater diversion of leftover foods to pets, use as animal feed, and home composting in rural areas. 
  • The report recommends that Countries use the Food Waste Index to measure food waste consistently, develop robust national baselines, and track progress to meet the SDG 12.3 goal.
  •  As of 2022, only 21 countries, including Cabo Verde, China, Namibia, Sierra Leone, and the United Arab Emirates, have included food loss and/or waste reduction in their national climate plans (NDCs).

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

The United Nations Environment Programme was established in 1972. The decision to establish the Programme was taken at the United Nations Conference on Human Environment held in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1972.

In 1988, the UNEP set up the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) with the World Meteorological Organisation to provide policymakers with regular scientific assessments on global warming and climate change.

The UNEP helps its member countries achieve triple environmental objectives,to foster climate stability, live in harmony with nature and forge a pollution-free future, supporting the achievement of all 17 SDGs.

Headquarters: Nairobi, Kenya 

 Director: Inger Andersen 


Answer: United Nations Environment Programme

Answer: Nairobi, Kenya

Answer: 1.05 billion tonnes of food or 19 per cent of food available to consumers,

Answer: 79 kg per person per year.

Answer: 2011
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