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Annual World Disasters Report Focuses On Hunger And Malnutrition, Highlights Dichotomy Between Economic Classes

This year’s annual World Disasters Report, published by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies on Thursday, focuses on hunger and malnutrition, but highlights a growing gap between economic classes, the Australian reports, noting “15 percent of the world’s population is going hungry while a record 20 percent now suffer the effects of ‘excess nutrition'” (Hodge, 9/23).

A rise in food prices, the impact of climate change and an increasing population have pushed the number of people who are undernourished to at least one billion, of which around 60 percent are women, according to the report, the Guardian notes. “Every year about three million children die before they reach the age of five as a result of undernutrition, with the majority of deaths the result of long-term chronic hunger rather than famines and sudden food crises, according to” the report, the Guardian writes (Ford, 9/22).

“Approaches to malnutrition need a rethink, the report said, adding that most foreign help for hungry and malnourished people still comes over­whelmingly from donors’ budgets for emergency relief, which are separate from their longer-term development aid budgets,” according to AlertNet (Curtis, 9/22). “The report calls on governments, aid groups and the private sector to focus on securing long-term food access to vulnerable communities, raising investment in sustainable agriculture and curbing market speculation that triggers extreme volatility in global food prices,” the Australian writes (9/23).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.