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World hunger report - 2002-10-16


A United Nations report released Tuesday says that hunger kills millions of people every year, including six-million children under the age of five. And it says progress in solving the problem has almost come to a halt. The u-N’s food and agriculture report says in the period between 1998 and 2000-- 840-million people were undernourished around the world.

It says that the 1990’s the rate of improvement in the world’s hunger situation slowed down drastically compared to previous years. Charles Riemenschneider the director of the UN’s food and agriculture organization said the most serious problems are in Africa.

CHARLES RIEMENSCHNEIDER, UN FOOD DIRECTOR, NORTH AMERICA
“Sub-Saharan Africa continues to have the highest prevalence of undernourishment, and the largest increase in the number of undernourished people. Much of the increase took place in central Africa, mainly in war-torn democratic republic of Congo, where the number of undernourished people has tripled.”

The report says hunger is not limited to just developing countries. People in industrialized nations and countries in transition--such as those of the former soviet-bloc--are also going hungry.

Mr. Riemenschneider said people are also suffering from what he calls, “hidden hunger.”

CHARLES RIEMENSCHNEIDER, UN FOOD DIRECTOR, NORTH AMERICA
“Their diets supply inadequate amounts of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, iron, iodine, zinc and vitamin C. Children and women are most vulnerable to lack of micro-nutrients. “

Mr. Riemenschneider said a twin track approach of rural development along with immediate access to food programs for the most needy can be used to reduce hunger and malnutrition. Mr. Riemenschneider said the benefits of reducing hunger could total billions of dollars for the global economy.

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