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FAO Releases Figures on Impact of High Food Prices on Hunger and Poverty

Hunger on the rise. Soaring prices add 75 million people to global hunger rolls 18 September 2008: On the eve of the opening of the 63rd

session of the UN General Assembly, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization

(FAO) released a briefing paper on the impact of high food prices on hunger,

which states that rising food prices pushed 75 million more people into hunger

and threatens efforts to realize the goal of halving the number of those in

hunger by 2015. The paper will inform a high-level event on the Millennium

Development Goals (MDGs), to be held on 25 September.

According to the paper,

the number of people suffering from hunger grew to 925 million, primarily due

to soaring prices for food fuel and fertilizers. This development does not only

impact efforts to achieve the hunger-related MDG, but it also affects progress

towards many of the Goals. Hunger reduces labor productivity, health and

education, which are all factors for economic growth. The paper suggests that

achieving the goal of reducing the number of hungry people by 500 million by

2015 requires a two-track approach that would make food accessible to the most

vulnerable and help small producers raise their output and earn more.

The

approach involves measures to enhance direct and immediate access to food, as

well as to create opportunities for the hungry to improve their livelihoods by

promoting agricultural and rural development. The document concludes that

reducing the incidence of hunger will greatly improve the chances of meeting

the MDGs related to poverty reduction, education, child mortality, maternal

health and disease. [FAO Press

Release] [Briefing

Paper]