A combination of food shortages and the global economic downturn has pushed more than one billion people into hunger according to the UN.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Food Programme say that since last year, 100 million more people are undernourished, the highest number in four decades. The FAO’s Director General Jacques Diouf, who features in an exclusive Euronews interview to be broadcast this weekend, has condemned the figures as “intolerable” on what the UN has designated World Food Day. “There is famine in the world because we don’t invest enough in agriculture in poor countries,” he said. “If I just give you some figures, the amount of developmental aid that went into agriculture in 1980 was 17 per cent. In 2006 it had fallen to 3.8 per cent.” UN agencies say the world needs to invest 55 billion euros a year in developing countries to feed 9.1 billion people in 2050. Overall world agriculture output needs to be increased by 70 per cent over the next 41 years. India’s rapid economic growth has failed to benefit hundreds of millions of people living in poverty according to the UN report. Only communist Vietnam gets praise for dramatically improving the food situation for its poor.