UN reports on world hunger

The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2009 was prepared under the overall leadership of Hafez Ghanem, Assistant Director-General, and the guidance of the management team of the Economic and Social Development Department.

The United Nations report was presented during the October 2009 meetings in Rome, Italy of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

This is FAO’s tenth progress report on world hunger since the 1996 World Food Summit (WFS). This report highlights the fact that, even before the food crisis and the economic crisis, the number of hungry people had been increasing slowly but steadily. With the onset of these crises, however, the number of hungry people in the world increased sharply.

As a result of the global economic crisis, developing countries are facing declines in remittances, export earnings, foreign direct investment and foreign aid, leading to loss of employment and income. This loss of income is compounded by food prices that are still relatively high in the local markets of many poor countries. As a result, poor households have been forced to eat fewer meals and less-nutritious food, cut back on health and education expenses, and sell their assets.

Despite the financial constraints faced by governments around the world, agricultural investment and safety nets remain key parts of an effective response to reduce food insecurity both now and in the future.

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