FAO Proposes International Coalition Against Hunger

Countries Falling Short of Goal Set in 1996

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ROME, NOV. 5, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Along with the international coalition against terrorism, there should be one against hunger, says the head of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

German President Johannes Rau mentioned the proposal a few days ago when he addressed the 31st FAO conference, being held from Nov. 2-13.

That proposal was echoed today by FAO Director General Jacques Diouf.

Of the 815 million people worldwide who suffer from malnutrition, 777 million live in developing countries, 27 million reside in countries in transition, and 11 million are in industrialized nations, Diouf said.

He noted that the 1996 World Food Summit, attended by government leaders, aimed to reduce the number of undernourished people by 22 million a year, through better nutrition programs.

«The decrease has only been 6 million a year, an absolutely inadequate figure,» Diouf declared.

The FAO director general added: «To combat poverty effectively there must be a struggle on two fronts.»

On one hand, humanitarian assistance is needed, he said. On the other, he added, rural communities must be weaned from such aid to become economically productive on their own.

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