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1.02 billion hungry due to global economic crisis and high food prices

CBC reports that, “A United Nations food agency says a record 1.02 billion people are hungry around the world (up 11 percent from last year’s 915 million), largely due to the global economic crisis and stubbornly high food prices.”

“Compared with last year, there are 100 million more people who are hungry, meaning they receive fewer than 1,800 calories a day, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in a report released Friday.”

“Soaring prices for staples such as rice triggered riots in many parts of the developing world last year. …Average prices at the end of last year were still 24 per cent higher in real terms than in 2006, FAO said. The global economic crisis has compounded the problem for people dealing with pay cuts or job losses. Individual countries have also some lost flexibility in handling price fluctuations, as the crisis has made tools such as currency devaluation less effective.”

“Asia and the Pacific, the world’s most populous region, has the largest number of hungry people at 642 million.”

“Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest hunger rate, with 265 million undernourished representing 32 per cent of the region’s population.”

“In the developed world, undernourishment is a growing concern, with 15 million now hungry, the report said.”

The President of the United Nations General Assembly Miguel d’Escoto Brockman is convening a critical United Nations conference on ‘the World Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development’ next week on Wednesday June 24 to Friday June 26 at the UN headquarters in New York City.

The G-20 has rejected this conference.

We believe that Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and Trade Minister Stockwell Day should attend. But rather than mistakenly continuing to promote free trade as the answer to this global economic recession, they should support the G-192 draft declaration and actions that will address unemployment, poverty and hunger both around the world and here in Canada.

To respond to our ‘ACTION ALERT: Demand that Harper attend UN global economic crisis conference’ please go to http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=607.

The CBC article is at http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2009/06/19/un-world-hunger-report.html.