One in seven suffer malnourishment: UN food agency

May 30, 2012
Children from a poor neighbourhood in Santo Domingo play with sand. One in seven people suffer from malnourishment, the head of the UN's food agency said Wednesday in a report released ahead of a summit on sustainable development to be held in Rio de Janeiro June 20-22.

One in seven people suffer from malnourishment, the head of the UN's food agency said Wednesday in a report released ahead of a summit on sustainable development to be held in Rio de Janeiro June 20-22.

"We cannot call development sustainable while this situation persists, while nearly one out of every seven men, women and children are left behind, victims of undernourishment," said FAO director general Jose Graziano da Silva.

"At the Rio Summit we have the golden opportunity to explore the convergence between the agendas of food security and sustainability," he said, referring to the difficulties in making sure that the poor have sustained access to food.

The report calls on governments to invest in infrastructure and protect the rights of the poor to .

Three quarters of the world's poor live in rural areas and most of them depend on agriculture and related activities for their livelihoods, it said.

Access to natural resources -- such as land, water or forests -- is essential for the 2.5 billion who produce food for their own consumption and income.

"Hunger puts in motion a vicious cycle of reduced productivity, deepening poverty, slow economic development and resource degradation," the report said.

The FAO called for and production systems to "achieve more with less," and said it was necessary to shift to nutritious diets with a smaller , as well as reducing food losses and waste.

Global food losses and waste amount to 1.3 billion tonnes per year, roughly one-third of the world food production for , it said, and correspond to over 10 percent of the world's total caloric .

"In 2050 there will be an expected of 9 billion, with increased incomes and rising food demand. Pressure on the world's agricultural and food systems and the resources they use will grow," the agency said.

"Worse, unless purposeful action is taken, the increase in production of 60 percent needed to meet effective demand will still leave behind over 300 million people who are expected to suffer from chronic hunger in 2050."

The Rio conference comes 40 years after a Stockholm conference on the environment in 1972, 20 years after a Rio conference on development in 1992 and 10 years after a summit on in Johannesburg in 2002.

The themes of the so-called Rio+20 conference next month were laid down in a United Nations General Assembly resolution adopted in December 2009, and aim to renew political engagement in sustainable development.

Explore further: UN warns 25 pct of world land highly degraded

Related Stories

UN warns 25 pct of world land highly degraded

November 28, 2011
(AP) -- The United Nations has completed the first-ever global assessment of the state of the planet's land resources, finding in a report Monday that a quarter of all land is highly degraded and warning the trend must be ...

Recommended for you

Amber-tinted glasses may provide relief for insomnia

December 15, 2017
How do you unwind before bedtime? If your answer involves Facebook and Netflix, you are actively reducing your chance of a good night's sleep. And you are not alone: 90 percent of Americans use light-emitting electronic devices, ...

Warning labels can help reduce soda consumption and obesity, new study suggests

December 15, 2017
Labels that warn people about the risks of drinking soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages can lower obesity and overweight prevalence, suggests a new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health study.

Office work can be a pain in the neck

December 15, 2017
Neck pain is a common condition among office workers, but regular workplace exercises can prevent and reduce it, a University of Queensland study has found.

Regular takeaways linked to kids' heart disease and diabetes risk factors

December 14, 2017
Kids who regularly eat take-away meals may be boosting their risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, suggests research published online in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Simulation model finds Cure Violence program and targeted policing curb urban violence

December 14, 2017
When communities and police work together to deter urban violence, they can achieve better outcomes with fewer resources than when each works in isolation, a simulation model created by researchers at the UC Davis Violence ...

Your pets can't put your aging on 'paws'

December 14, 2017
(HealthDay)—In a finding that's sure to ruffle some fur and feathers, scientists report that having a pet doesn't fend off age-related declines in physical or mental health.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.