Friday, June 26, 2009

FAO: 1 billion hungry people in the world

In years past, it was natural disasters that led to increases of hungry people, but now it's mankind's doing.

The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization says there are now 1 billion hungry people in the world, that's more then ever before. The FAO puts the blame squarely on the global recession and rising food prices.

From this VOA story that we found at New Jersey News Room, writer Joe De Caupa recieved some quotes from FAO director Jacques Diouf.

"The number of those suffering from chronic hunger in the world has topped one billion in 2009. One billion and 20 million to be more precise," he says.

Diouf says a "dangerous mix" of the global economic slowdown and very high food prices pushed another 100 million people into the hungry category over the past year.

"Neither drought, nor floods or disastrous harvests can be held to blame this time. Worsening hunger in the last three years largely stems from economic shocks," he says.

This includes the global credit crunch, falling trade and investment flows, declining remittances and budgetary pressures on development aid.

"The financial and economic crisis is having a particularly profound impact on poor and rural households, specifically, the rural landless, the urban poor and the female-headed households," he says.

The latest figures show the number of hungry people in the Asia-Pacific region is up 10.5 percent. In sub-Saharan Africa, there's an 11.8 percent increase. The Near East and North Africa are up 13.5 percent. Latin America and the Caribbean show a 12.8 percent increase. Even developed countries are not immune, showing a nearly 15 and a half percent hike in the number of hungry people.

The FAO leader says the world's food system is "fragile and vulnerable."

1 comment:

Eliza said...

Gareth Thomas the UK's International Development Minister - in response to questions put to him on the Guardian's Katine Project website - about hunger stated that food prices on the continent have actually begun to fall but that at the root of hunger is poverty, worsened by the current economic climate.
The Minister talks about the UK's position on debt, aid and trade and the upcoming government White Paper on Development.