Number of chronically hungry people is rising by 5m a year
- By: Jane Burgermeister
The number of people who are chronically hungry is growing worldwide, a report by the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization says. The organisation estimated that 842 million people were chronically hungry in 1999-2001: 798 million in the developing world, 10 million in the industrialised countries, and 34 million in the transition countries in the former Soviet Union.
The number of people who are chronically undernourished is increasing by five million every year, the report says. Each year, six million children under the age of 5 years die because of diseases that result from malnutrition.
The organisation called the latest figures a “setback against the war on hunger.” It warned that the 1996 world food summit's target of halving the number of chronically hungry people by 2015 looked increasingly remote. To meet the target the number of people who were hungry would have to be cut by at least 24