Rome (Fides Service) – Hunger affects more and more people in the world and it is increasingly difficult to eliminate: almost 850 million people, 27 million more than last year, eat too little and this number, reduced in the early 1990s, is destined to steadily grow.
This warning was issued by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation headquarters in Rome in its 2003 State of Food Insecurity in the World report issued in view of the two yearly Conference 27 November - 10 December in Rome.
Some 842 million people in the world suffer from under-nourishment. Of these 798 million live in developing countries, 34 in transition countries and 10 million in the industrialised world. The number of people who do not eat enough grows in central and western African countries mainly because of war. Other causes, just as negative – FAO reports – include persistent drought and spreading AIDS.
While in the first half of the 1990s the number of undernourished people was reduced by 37 million, by the end of the millennium it had increased by 18 million. There are exceptions, for example in Latin America and the Caribbean where the number of people affected by malnutrition was reduced. In all 19 countries reduced the number of undernourished people in the early 1990s. One of these countries was China. But these are exceptions. Today, at this rate – the UN report affirms – we are ever further away from the objective established at a world Food Summit to decrease by 50% by 2015 the number of people suffering from hunger. (AP) (26/11/2003 Fides Service; lines:25 words:305)