Over 1.2 billion people suffering from hunger

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has declared that over 1.2 billion people across the globe are starving.

A three-day UN summit on world food security, held in Rome, announced that more than 1.2 billion people, or one in six of human population, are starving due to regional wars, global financial crisis, rising energy prices and food costs.

The ‘Hunger Summit’ was attended by Pope Benedict XVI and some 60 heads of state to endorse a new strategy to fight hunger, focusing on the need for increased investments in agricultural development in poor countries.

Developing Asia-Pacific countries house the largest number of hungry people with 642 million malnourished inhabitants. The number varies around the world with 265 million in Sub-Saharan Africa, 53 million in Latin America, 42 million in the Middle East and North Africa and 15 million in industrial countries.

FAO Director General Jacques Diouf believes that malnutrition is not restricted to a specific area and people anywhere may suffer from hunger.

According to FAO, the long-term increase in the number of hungry people is mostly due to the reduced aid and private investments earmarked for agriculture since the mid-1980s.

The organization says the global food output should increase by 70 percent in order to feed a projected population of 9.1 billion in 2050.

The leaders unanimously adopted a declaration pledging renewed commitment to eradicate hunger from the face of the earth.

To help create a sense of urgency, FAO Chief Jacques Diouf went on a 24-hour fast on Saturday, followed by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday.

NAT/TE/MB From PressTV.

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