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Number, Proportion Of World's Hungry Drop But Remain Too High, U.N. Report Says

The U.N. “revised down the number of the world’s hungry on Tuesday to just under 870 million but slammed the figure as ‘unacceptable’ and warned that the fight against hunger was slowing down,” Agence France-Presse reports. The report, launched by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) along with the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), “said the number of hungry was down from one billion 20 years ago,” according to AFP (Milasin, 10/9). “That is better news than we have had in the past, but it still means that one person in every eight goes hungry. That is unacceptable, especially when we live in a world of plenty,” FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva said, Reuters notes. The new figures are based on revised calculation methods and new data, according to the news service (Hornby, 10/9).

“Significantly, the figures do not show an increase in global hunger following the recent food price and economic crises,” the Guardian writes, adding, “However, the report finds that from 2007 there has been ‘a significant slowdown’ in progress, bringing hunger reduction ‘essentially to a halt for the developing countries as a whole'” (Provost, 10/9). An FAO press release states, “The global number of hungry people declined by 132 million between 1990-92 and 2010-12, or from 18.6 percent to 12.5 percent of the world’s population, and from 23.2 percent to 14.9 percent in developing countries — putting the MDG target within reach if adequate, appropriate actions are taken” (10/9). “The report, launched by three U.N. food agencies ahead of the Committee on World Food Security meetings in Rome next week, calls for investment in smallholder farmers, ‘nutrition-sensitive’ policies, and the creation of comprehensive social protection systems that target the poor,” the Guardian writes (10/9).

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