Rome/New York/Geneva – Over 122 million more people are facing hunger in the world since 2019 due to the pandemic and repeated weather shocks and conflicts, including the war in Ukraine, according to the latest State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) report published today jointly by five United Nations specialized agencies.If trends remain as they are, the Sustainable Development Goal of ending hunger by 2030 will not be reached, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) warn. A wake-up call for the fight against hunger The 2023 edition of the report reveals that between 691 and 783 million people faced hunger in 2022, with a mid-range of 735 million. This represents an increase of 122 million people compared to 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic. While global hunger numbers have stalled between 2021 and 2022, there are many places in the world facing deepening food crises. Progress in hunger reduction was observed in Asia and Latin America, but hunger was still on the rise in Western Asia, the Caribbean and throughout all subregions of Africa in 2022. Africa remains the worst-affected region with one in five people facing hunger on the continent, more than twice the global average. “There are rays of hope, some regions are on track to achieve some 2030 nutrition targets. But overall, we need an intense and immediate global effort to rescue the Sustainable Development Goals. We must build resilience against the crises and shocks that drive food insecurity-from conflict to climate, said UN Secretary-General António Guterres through a video message during the launch of the report at the UN Headquarters in New York. The heads of the five UN agencies, FAO Director-General QU Dongyu; IFAD President Alvaro Lario;UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell; WFP’s Executive Director Cindy McCain; and WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus write in the report’s Foreword: “No doubt, achieving the Sustainable Development Goal target of Zero Hunger by 2030 poses a daunting challenge. Indeed, it is projected that almost 600 million people will still be facing hunger in 2030. The major drivers of foodinsecurity and malnutrition are our “new normal”, and we have no option but to redouble our efforts to transform agrifood systems and leverage them towards reaching the Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG 2) targets.”Beyond hunger The food security and nutrition situation remained grim in 2022. The report finds that approximately29.6 percent of the global population, equivalent to 2.4 billion people, did not have constant access to food, as measured by the prevalence of moderate or severe food insecurity. Among them, around 900 million individuals faced severe food insecurity. Meanwhile, the capacity of people to access healthy diets has deteriorated across the world: more than3.1 billion people in the world – or 42 percent – were unable to afford a healthy diet in 2021. This represents an overall increase of 134 million people compared to 2019. Millions of children under five continue to suffer from malnutrition: in 2022, 148 million children under five years of age (22.3 percent) were stunted, 45 million (6.8 percent) were wasted, and 37 million (5.6 percent) were overweight. Progress has been seen in exclusive breastfeeding with 48 percent of infants under 6-months of age benefiting from this practice, close to the 2025 target. However, more concerted efforts will be required to meet the 2030 malnutrition targets. New evidence: Urbanization is driving changes in agrifood systems The report also looks at increased urbanization as a ‘megatrend’ affecting how and what people eat. With almost seven in ten people projected to live in cities by 2050, governments and others working to tackle hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition must seek to understand these urbanization trends and account for them in their policymaking. In particular, the simple rural and urban divide concept is no longer sufficient to understand the ways in which urbanization is shaping agrifood systems. A more complex rural-urban continuum perspective is needed considering both the degree of connectivity that people have and types of connections that exist between urban and rural areas. For the first time, this evolution is documented systematically across eleven countries. The reportillustrates that food purchases are significant not only among urban households but also across the rural- urban continuum, including those residing far from urban centers. The new findings also show how consumption of highly processed foods is also increasing in peri-urban and rural areas of some countries. Unfortunately, spatial inequalities remain. Food insecurity affects more people living in rural areas. Moderate or severe food insecurity affected 33 percent of adults living in rural areas and 26 pe in urban areas. Children’s malnutrition also displays urban and rural specificities: the prevalence of child stunting is higher in rural areas (35.8 percent) than in urban areas (22.4 percent). Wasting is higher in rural areas (10.5 percent) than in urban areas (7.7 percent), while overweight is slightly more prevalent in urban areas (5.4 percent) compared to rural areas (3.5 percent).The report recommends that to effectively promote food security and nutrition, policy interventions, actions and investments must be guided by a comprehensive understanding of the complex and changing relationship between the rural-urban continuum and agrifood systems.
Out of this, the length of the road of international importance is 1593 km, 5460 km of domestic importance, and 32 900 km of local importance.
The information is provided by the Armed Forces of Ukraine."In order to staff the armed forces of the Russian Federation, the units of the 4th (Tskhinvali district, South Ossetia) and 7th (Abkhazia) military bases, which are part of the Southern Military District, were redeployed from the occupied territories of Georgia to Ukraine.From the 4th military base, three BTGs were formed and sent to Ukraine, which in total, amounts up to 1,200 Russian and Ossetian soldiers. From the units of the 7th military base, two BTGs were formed, which unites about 800 people.", posted General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on Facebook. As the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine further noted, the Russian troops continue to experience staffing problems."In particular, servicemen of the 26th Tank Regiment of the 47th Tank Division, who signed contracts, began to file reports after they had participated in the war against Ukraine, requesting to terminate the contract and send them to a permanent location for further service.It is also reported that the Joint Forces in Donetsk and Luhansk regions repulsed four attacks by the Russian occupiers over the past 24 hours. Ukrainian soldiers destroyed seven tanks, seven armored vehicles, two vehicles, and an anti-tank gun. The enemy suffered manpower losses.", writes Ukrinform.
According to Ekho Kavkaza, earlier the border could be crossed only by vehicle or bike.The information was confirmed by the press service of the FSB border service of North Ossetia, who noted that such a decision was made "for speed".According to Ekho Kavkaza, the above reports that it is now possible to cross the border on foot were spread via the so-called Zemo Larsi chat and Tbilisi_life Telegram channel.
In anticipation of the EU response, the Shame Movement announced a demonstration on June 20, at 20:00, where representatives of the civil society, the Ukrainian government, and the European Union addressed the rally. The announcement read: "Europe is a historical choice and an aspiration of Georgians, for which all generations have given sacrifices. The tangible act of our historical aspirations is the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Georgia. We, Georgians, created one of the most progressive documents in the world at that time and declared our connection with Europe based on shared values. A century has passed and the Russian Federation now opposes the Western choice of Ukraine with new military aggression. Against the background of the heroism and self-sacrifice of the Ukrainian people, there is an unprecedented chance for Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova to become part of the European Union and return to where our roots and aspirations are. The citizens of Georgia may not agree on many issues, but freedom, peace, economic sustainability, protection of human rights, and justice are the values that unite us all, which would be guaranteed by integration with the European Union. That is why, in anticipation of the EU response, on June 20, at 20:00, we will gather in front of the Parliament and demonstrate the commitment of the Georgian people of the world to European choice and Western values." The number of people taking part in a protest rally in support of European integration was at least 120,000, amounting to a maximum of 160,000, according to Netgazeti.The Shame Movement announced another demonstration on June 24, after the EU announced its decision to grant Georgia candidate status. The Shame Movement also presented a manifesto and announced the establishment of a new People's Movement. At 21:00, demonstrators marched to Europe Square, where the conclusive part of the event was held. At the summit on June 23-24, the leaders of the 27 EU member states will consider the applications of Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia for the EU candidate status.
“What I saw yesterday was a very large, dignified, and peaceful manifestation of Georgia’s pro-European choice.What I heard yesterday was many, many ordinary Georgians coming out, wishing Georgia to seize the moment and embrace the opportunity that is given now from the European Union side and take the right steps forward in order to de facto and in reality move Georgia’s European agenda forward,” Ambassador Hartzell said.Carl Hartzell also stressed that opening the European perspective for Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova should not be missed.“What the Commission said last Friday was to open the European perspective for Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia, which is not to be missed a very clear “yes” from the European Commission that Georgia has the potential to become a future EU member. And yesterday, we heard President Michel, who is very well known in this country, also stressing that now is a time to acknowledge that Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia have a future within the European Union. These are powerful messages, and at the same time, as we know, the Opinion for Georgia was less favourable than the Opinion for Ukraine and Moldova, which underlines the need now to take resolute steps forward to demonstrate these aspirations. And for that we have a to-do list from the European Commission, saying what are these requirements for Georgia to advance. And I am hoping to see in a few days’ time if member states in the European Council will conclude the same as the European Commission. After which the message is very clear, Georgia’s European destiny is in Georgia’s hands, and it’s time to work diligently to take the necessary steps, to move the agenda forward."
As she declared, Georgia complies with the requirements of international sanctions, and in case of violation, it will receive an appropriate response."In 2008, it’s important to remember there were a billion dollars in support allocated for Georgia, and there has been considerable investment by my country and other countries in helping Georgia strengthen its deterrence capabilities. The Georgia Defense Forces are quite a bit stronger than in 2008 as a result of the strong security cooperation and partnership that Georgia has with the United States and other friends of Georgia. In this situation, now, what is really important is that we all show a unified front to this Russian aggression that is killing thousands of Ukrainian civilians and devastating Ukrainian towns. The sanctions are intended to influence Russia’s behavior, and I would just say clearly, no one is asking Georgia’s government to come up with bilateral sanctions if they don’t want to, if that’s not what they’ve decided they should do. Bilateral sanctions are for Georgia’s government to decide. What is expected of every country, my country, and every country that is standing against this Russian aggression is that there will be compliance with the international sanctions regime, and Georgia has always been a good partner in complying with international sanctions, whether against Iran or other countries that are working against the interests of countries like Georgia and the United States and all of our countries that believe in freedom and stability and security.So, again, I think it’s important not to confuse the issues here about what we’re talking about when we’re talking about complying with international sanctions. Georgia is complying with international sanctions. Many of the sanctions may not affect Georgia directly. So I think it’s important to keep this in perspective and understand that Georgia, just like most countries, will be complying with international sanctions to the extent they can. There are consequences for any country that doesn’t comply with an international sanctions regime. We all know that. So, again, I think that the key thing here is that we all are sending a unified message of support to Ukraine, and one of the ways to do that is by complying with the international sanctions regimes."
Mobilization will begin on September 21.The decree provides for additional measures to implement the state defense order.According to the presidential decree, only those citizens who are in the reserve and first of all served in the armed forces, have a certain military specialty and relevant experience will be subject to military service."Only those citizens of Russia who are currently in the reserve and, first of all, those who served in the ranks of the country's armed forces, have a certain military specialty and relevant experience, will be subject to military service," Vladimir Putin said in his address to the citizens this morning.According to him, the decision on partial mobilization was made to protect Russia, its sovereignty, territorial integrity and to ensure the security of the Russian people.
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The Georgian official was invited to the event as a special guest by Aliyev, the Government Administration said.Their meeting discussed the “strategic” cooperation in trade, economy, energy, transport and logistics, as well as prospects for development of the Middle Corridor - a transportation route network connecting China with Europe through the South Caucasus region - through modernisation of railways and expansion of ports and roads.The meeting noted Azerbaijan was one of the “leading” trading partners of Georgia.The construction of the East-West Highway in Georgia and the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project were also among the discussed topics. The officials said the railway would become a part of the Europe-South Caucasus-Asia railway corridor in the future.The meeting also discussed the Black Sea submarine electricity cable project, intended to connect the grids of the South Caucasus and European Union member states.Garibashvili and Aliyev reviewed security issues in the region and the wider world and expressed hope for a peace agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia over their long-running conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region “very soon”.
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The Commission recommends that the Council grants Georgia the status of a candidate country on the understanding that a number of steps are taken.The press conference in Brussels, at which Von der Leyen and European Commissioner for Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi will present the report on EU enlargement to the media, started a few minutes ago.
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Garibashvili will take part in thematic discussions planned at the Summit in a round table format, the Government Administration said.The Government head will also hold “high-level” bilateral meetings within the framework of the Summit that will take place between Thursday and Friday.At the first meeting in October 2022, leaders mainly discussed peace and security issues, with an emphasis on Russia's war in Ukraine and the energy crisis. At the June 2023 edition they discussed joint efforts for peace and security, energy resilience and connectivity and mobility in Europe.
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Garibashvili noted the two countries had achieved “significant” progress in cooperation, reflected in both economic and political dimensions, the Government Administration said.The Georgian official stressed the existing regional projects were a “clear” example of “effective” strategic cooperation, sustainable development and reliable partnership between the two countries that would bring “more economic independence, security and prosperity” to both countries.The officials also reviewed the security environment in the Black Sea region, with Garibashvili emphasising the importance of settling issues through peaceful negotiations.He also extended his gratitude to Erdoğan for his “strong” support for Georgia's sovereignty, territorial integrity, as well as EU and NATO integration.
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According to Zourabichvili, the Georgian government gradually transformed.“Instead of strengthening state institutions, being the cornerstone of democracy, the one-party system and its influence get stronger. Laws adopted in an expedited manner (on covert recordings, abolishment of state inspector, changes in the rule for appointment of judges and foreign agents bill) serve your power’s prolongation instead of serving democracy strengthening and citizens’ welfare. The court reform, vital for the country’s future, is at a deadlock,” President said.Salome Zourabichvili went on to say that the ruling party members speak in unison, and those having different viewpoints, tend to quit the party.“The party influence is evident in the government and parliament. The party turned into a decision-making space. The party chairman announces his standpoint on all political issues in advance, and the decision-making process is vague, not to mention open discussions.You are the government confronting the country’s foreign goal, the people’s mandate. By inviting Gavrilov (Russian MP) in 2019, you raised doubts and questions for the first time, though the actual transformation began in 2021 when the Georgian Dream former Chairman Bidzina Ivanishvili quit politics,” she said.President also recalled the annulling of the document drafted with the engagement of the European Council President and rejection of the EU loan.“You have never stopped the anti-European rhetoric, blaming and insulting our partners. All this finally came to the extent that we expelled the former EU ambassador from the country with reprimands and accusations,” Zourabichvili stated.