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The Food Insecurity Increases

July 21, 2008

    Worldwide Hunger and Food Insecurity Rise Dramatically

    Friday July 11, 2008

    The number people in 70 of the world’s lower income countries who are “food insecure” and live with persistent hunger increased by more than 130 million people between 2006 and 2007—from 849 million to 982 million—according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    People who are food insecure consume less than 2,100 calories daily, the nutritional target set by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. In its 2006 Food Security Assessment, the USDA predicted that the number of hungry and malnourished people worldwide would fall to 800 million by 2017. In the 2007 report, however, the agency had to revise its previous conclusion, and now estimates that the number of food-insecure people in developing countries will expand to 1.2 billion within a decade.

    Grain prices rose about 50 percent between 2005 and 2007, and USDA long-term projections indicate about 90 percent of the price increase will persist over the next 10 years, thanks in part to the biofuel boom and to increased consumption of grain-fed meat by the rapidly expanding Asian middle class.

    Rising food and fuel prices have put pressure on many developing nations—especially those in sub-Saharan Africa—where the cost of food often accounts for more than 50 percent of total household expenses, and where the higher cost of importing energy is making it harder for many countries to import much-needed food.

    One Comment leave one →
    1. July 21, 2008 10:55 pm

      It’s difficult to know how to respond to this growing crisis. For those of us in the advocacy and development world, we thought we were making progress against food insecurity. It’s disheartening to see a crisis of this magnitude threaten that progress.

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