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Food shortage could see 1 billion hungry

Food shortage could see 1 billion hungry article image

Famine could be a reality for 1 billion people worldwide due to the global financial crisis, says the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation. The estimate comes despite a drop in recent food prices, as trade and aid funding has also fallen. The organisation's general director Jacques Diouf says the record number of people receiving less that 1,800 calories a day is a concern for all: "Food security is a matter of peace and security in the world." Some food prices in underdeveloped and developing countries have dropped by up to 14 percent, but many staple foods have retained their price. Food production is also a concern; excluding China, India and Brazil, food in developing countries rose just 0.4 percent, a figure dwarfed by an increase in population. Poor infrastructure and poor climate conditions have exacerbated the problems, says Diouf. Diouf says production will need to double by 2050 just to meet demand. The director also called for an increase in development aid to agriculture, which has dropped from 17 percent to three percent since the 1970s: "There is no way we will solve the problem of food security in the world if we stay in this situation, we need to go back to 17 percent."

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