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Pope Francis

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The number of people affected by hunger will hit historic record

2009-06-24

Jacques Diouf
Director-General, FAO

Neither droughts nor floods or disastrous harvest can be held to blame this time, worsening hunger in the last three years largely stems from economic shocks.

According to the FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the number of hungry people will increase by 11 percent. That means 100 million more people than last year.

The situation is due to the global economic crisis, which in turn has caused a decrease in revenues and an increase in unemployment.

Naturally, the most affected are those living in developing countries. In Asia and the Pacific, an estimated 642 million people are suffering from chronic hunger, in Sub-Saharan Africa 265 million, in Latin America and the Caribbean 53 million, in North Africa and the Middle East 42 million and in developed countries, 15 million.

Jacques Diouf
Director-General, FAO

 This is the very, very, grave situation in which we are in and which tends to be overshadowed by the coverage of the financial crisis, the stimulus packages for financial institutions, the auto industry, etc.

As a short-term solution, the heads of the FAO and World Food Programme recommend creating safety nets and social programs to increase agricultural investment and to support farmers.

In the long term, they suggest providing developing countries with technical and financial solutions, as well as tools to strengthen agricultural productivity and the ability to recover from the crisis.

In addition they made a special appeal to the leaders of developed countries to not to forget the children who suffer from chronic hunger due to the crisis.

Josette Sheeran
Executive Director, World Food Programme

60 million children today go to school and they can’t even concentrate because they don’t even have one cup of food. Today in Kenya, the children that we provide a cup of food to, are saving half the cup of food for their younger brothers and sisters who have no food.

Recently, the general director of the FAO proposed holding a world summit on food security in order to eradicate hunger in the world by 2025.


DG