2004-12-19 ITALY

852 million people are undernourished – 5 million children die each year

It was 1996; the terrorism and the theory of the ?preventative war? were in gestation but had not already been transformed into a daily reality. About ten of the world?s Heads of State and of Governments launched a challenge: halve the number of those who suffer from hunger by 2015.
Nearly half of this timeline has passed by and the FAO Report of 2004 on the ?state of the lack of food in the world? shows us that the situation is worse. Let?s read the data provided by the FAO:
– 852 million people are undernourished;
– 20 million babies are born underweight with the risk of dying during infancy or surviving with physical or cognitive disabilities;
– 5 million children die of hunger each year: one every 6 seconds;
– war conflicts increase the number of people living in extreme poverty by 30%;
– with low cost fast food, the poor pass from being undernourished to obesity and small-scale economy tied to individual commerce and family farming is damaged.
For the first time, the FAO has stopped calculating the astonishing cost of malnutrition, not only in terms of human life, but also in lost economy. ?For the developing countries the liabilities can be calculated in millions of dollars in terms of lost productivity and national income. Hartwig de Haen, Vice-Director General, also added, ?without these direct costs that society must bear due to the damage caused by hunger, there would be more funds to fight against social problems.?
In this report, a ray of light seems to be coming from thirty-one countries that are respecting the stages for attaining the objective of reducing by half the number of people suffering from hunger. Nearly half of the population of the developing world lives in these countries. Throughout the nineties, the number of people suffering from hunger in these countries diminished by 25% and this result is a good basis for reaching the objective of 50% in 2015.

Bulletin on FAO Report 2004


Provincial Chapter of the Province of New Zea...


Against the tide...