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Hunger Costs Developing Nations $450B Per Year, Report Says

“Reduced worker productivity, poor health and lost education caused by malnourishment” is costing poor nations $450 billion a year, according to a report by the aid agency ActionAid, Agence France-Presse reports (9/13). The number is “more than 10 times the estimated amount needed to meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving global hunger by 2015, said the report” according to the U.K. Press Association, which added that hunger also results in premature deaths (9/13).

ActionAid also looked at efforts to reduce hunger in 28 countries and “found the majority were failing in their efforts to halve hunger by 2015, a key development goal,” AFP writes, noting that the report precedes an upcoming review of the Millennium Development Goals. “Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Sierra Leone, Pakistan and Lesotho came out worst in their efforts to cut rates of hunger, according to ActionAid’s analysis,” the news service notes. ActionAid also “urged the rich world to make good on 22 billion dollars (£14 billion) to fight hunger pledged at last year’s G8 summit in Italy.”

The group cited low agricultural and development investment and a lack of legal rights to food as reasons for persistent hunger in poor countries.

“Fighting hunger now will be ten times cheaper than ignoring it,” said Joanna Kerr, ActionAid’s chief executive (9/13).

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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.