The United Nations food agency has issued a fresh warning over growing hunger levels.
One in eight people in the world is chronically undernourished, according to the UN and aid groups, who say that rising food prices could reverse gains in the fight against starvation.
The head of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said the new figures are lower than last estimates but are still a cause for concern.
“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,” said Jose Graziano da Silva, director general of FAO.”
Food prices have risen over the past few months, fuelled by drought in the United States, Russia and other major grain exporters. The FAO expects prices to remain close to levels reached during the 2008 food crisis.