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UN warns economic crisis affecting food security

10-11-2011 16:50 BJT

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UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- Food prices are likely to remain high and volatile, making poor farmers, consumers and countries more vulnerable to poverty and food insecurity, a UN spokesperson said here on Monday.

The statement was contained in an annual report issued by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Program ( WFP) on Monday, Eduardo del Buey, the deputy UN spokesperson, told a news briefing here.

"The heads of the three bodies said that crises, including the one in the Horn of Africa, are challenging the efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of reducing the proportion of people who suffer from hunger in half by 2015," del Buey said.

"Even if the MDG were achieved by 2015, some 600 million people in developing countries would still be undernourished. Having 600 million people suffering from hunger on a daily basis is never acceptable," the heads of the three UN agencies were quoted as saying in the preface to the report.

"The entire international community must act today and act forcefully to banish food insecurity from the planet," they added.

Among its recommendations, the report called on governments to ensure that a transparent and predictable regulatory environment is in place, one that promotes private investment and increases farm productivity.

"We must reduce food waste in developed countries through education and policies, and reduce food losses in developing countries by boosting investment in the entire value chain, especially post-harvest processing," said the report.

It also called for more sustainable management of natural resources, forests and fisheries, all of which are critical for the food security of many of the poorest members of society.

This year's global hunger report focuses on high and volatile food prices, a major contributing factor in global food insecurity.

Food price volatility may increase over the next decade, due to increasing demand from consumers in rapidly growing economies, a global population that is on the rise, further growth in biofuels that will place additional demands on the food system, as well as more frequent extreme weather events, the report said.

There were an estimated 925 million hungry people in the world in 2010, as compared to 850 million during the period from 2006- 2008, according to the FAO. No estimates have been produced for 2011 since the agency is currently revising the methodology it uses for calculating the prevalence of hunger, UN officials said here.


Editor:James |Source: CNTV

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