Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Cécile Duflot ruffles some feathers

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Media accused of pro-protester bias in Ferguson

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment

Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • Hamas publicly executes "informers"

    Read more

  • Russian aid convoy reaches Ukraine’s rebel-held Luhansk

    Read more

  • Gunmen kill scores in Iraqi Sunni mosque attack

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu set to be Erdogan's new PM

    Read more

  • Hollande is ‘nobody’s president’ says former French minister

    Read more

  • Two US Ebola patients leave hospital ‘virus-free’

    Read more

  • US reaches historic $16.7bn settlement with Bank of America

    Read more

  • Special report: Supplying Ukraine’s soldiers on the front line

    Read more

  • France delivered arms to Syrian rebels, Hollande confirms

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

SCIENCE

Number of world's hungry tops one billion

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-10-14

The annual report of the Food and Agricultural Organization, a UN agency, shows that 1.2 billion people were undernourished in 2009. The situation is the worst since 1970.

AFP - The food crisis in poor countries coupled with the global economic crisis have caused a spike in world hunger, with more than one billion people undernourished this year, the UN food agencies said Wednesday.

"No nation is immune and, as usual, it is the poorest countries -- and the poorest people -- that are suffering the most," said FAO head Jacques Diouf and WFP chief Josette Sheeran in this year's annual report on global food security.

"Even before the food crisis and the economic crisis, the number of hungry people had been increasing slowly but steadily," says the report compiled jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Food Programme.

"With the onset of these crises, however, the number of hungry people in the world increased sharply," said the Rome-based agencies.

"FAO estimates that 1.02 billion people are undernourished worldwide in 2009," it said. "This represents more hungry people than at any time since 1970 and a worsening of the unsatisfactory trends that were present even before the economic crisis."
 

The number of hungry has topped the one billion mark for the first time since 1970, but is a smaller proportion of the world total, which is now nearing seven billion compared with less than four billion four decades ago.

The largest population of the under-nourished is in the Asia-Pacific region, with 642 million, followed by Sub-Saharan Africa (265 million), Latin America (53 million) and the Middle East and North Africa (42 million). Some 15 million people suffer from hunger in the developed world.

Since 2007, high food prices have sparked riots in more than 60 countries.

The report comes out ahead of World Food Day on Friday, capping a week of talks among some 300 experts focussing on feeding the world in 2050, when the UN forecasts a global population of 9.1 billion.

"The World Food Summit target of reducing the number of undernourished people by half to no more than 420 million by 2015 will not be reached if the trends that prevailed before those crises continue," the report warned.

FAO Director General Diouf is to present a "toolbox" for helping countries fight hunger on Thursday.

The financial crisis has led to declines in foreign aid and investment in poor countries as well as remittances from relatives working in wealthy countries, the report noted.

"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.

The UN agencies urged investment in agriculture and safety nets "despite the financial constraints faced by governments around the world."

On Friday, five new goodwill ambassadors will be named: US Olympic gold medallist Carl Lewis, French fashion designer Pierre Cardin, French football star Patrick Vieira, and singer-songwriters Anggun and Fanny Lu of France and Colombia.

The FAO is to host a World Summit for Food Security November 16-18 in Rome, with the participation of Pope Benedict XVI at the opening session.

Date created : 2009-10-14

COMMENT(S)