Alarming rise in world hunger

New UN report blames high prices and global economic crisis for worsening situation.

    UN agencies estimate that 1.02 billion people are undernourished in 2009 [EPA]

    The report, compiled by the FAO and WFP, said the increase was a result of high food prices, and lower incomes and lost jobs, as well as a decline in foreign aid and investment in poor countries.

    "This loss of income is compounded by food prices that are still relatively high in the local markets of many poor countries," the FAO said.

    High food price

    The report found the Asia-Pacific region to have the largest undernourished population, followed by Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, the Middle East
    and North Africa.

    Around 15 million people suffer from hunger in the developed world.

    Diouf said that agriculture had not been given priority in the fight against hunger, with only 3.8 per cent of aid from donor countries contributing to food production in 2006, compared to 17 per cent in 1980.

    He told Associated Press that inflated food prices in developing nations, which sparked riots in more than 60 countries, have now stabilised, but still remain comparatively high.

    But he added world leaders were beginning to understand how crucial investment in agriculture is, pointing to the $20bn pledged by Group of Eight nations to help farmers produce more food.

    The report comes two days ahead of World Food Day, which begins a week of talks among some 300  experts focusing on feeding the world in 2050, when the UN  forecasts a global population of 9.1 billion.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.