The global economic crisis will help push 100 million people into poverty this year through lost jobs and lower earnings, leaving one sixth of the world’s population living in hunger, a U.N. agency said on Friday.
The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) forecast the number of people living in hunger would reach a record high of 1.02 billion this year, exacerbated by persistently high prices for staples following the food crisis of 2006-2008.
Not only will the global slowdown destroy livelihoods in the developing world — where almost all of the world’s hungry live — it will reduce aid spending from wealthy countries by around a quarter, just when it is most needed, the FAO warned.
“The silent hunger crisis … poses a serious risk for world peace and security,” said FAO Director General Jacques Diouf. “We urgently need to forge a broad consensus on the total and rapid eradication of hunger.”