World hunger and malnutrition levels worsened dramatically last year, mainly due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a multi-agency UN report released on Monday.

UN agencies, including the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Food Program (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO), released the first comprehensive report on food insecurity and nutrition since the start of the pandemic.

The report said that the rates of hunger and malnutrition in the world increased from 8.4% in 2019 to 10% in 2020 and that COVID-19 had a significant share in this increase.

The number of starving and malnourished people rose to nearly 768 million last year, an increase of around 118 million.

Since December 2019, the pandemic has claimed over 4.03 million lives in 192 countries and regions, with more than 187.05 million cases reported worldwide, according to the US’ Johns Hopkins University.

*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz.​​​​​​​

Copyright 2022 Anadolu Agency. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.