April 16, 2009

Bad Economy Could Result In 100 Million More Hungry People

Thursday, the United Nations warned that the global economic crisis could make 100 million more people hungry as it wipes out jobs in poorer countries.

"The evidence that we have, still anecdotal, is that the problem is starting up," said David Nabarro, a UN Assistant Secretary General and coordinator of a task force on global food security.

"The figure and estimate that has been put on the number of new hungry that are likely to result from the crisis by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is between 50 and 100 million," he told journalists.

Nabarro said when speaking at an "Agriculture Summit" this weekend in Italy, that the crisis would swell the ranks of the estimated one billion who are at risk of malnutrition.

The unemployment threat might be grafted on to the food crisis which is caused by rising prices last year.

The International Labor Organization estimated that two years of global financial and economic meltdown might add 50 million more people to the world's unemployed stats by the end of 2009.

Nabarro said, "We're anticipating that, with the reduction of their purchasing power as a result of this unemployment, they are going to be facing extreme problems with ensuring that they could feed themselves and their families."

"As well as the many other difficulties that people of the world are facing... they're also going to be heading into another period of hunger," he added.

The task force is asking the G8 agriculture ministers that are meeting in Treviso this Saturday to ensure that food and farm reform are included in attempts to revive the global economy, especially through support for smallholders in developing nations, and trade.

Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Mexico, South Africa and the European Commission have also been invited to the G8 meeting.


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