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World Food Day

World Food Day is marked on 16 October every year. It is the perfect opportunity for us all to take stock of the number of hungry people in the world and the efforts being made to reduce hunger.

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation estimate that the number of hungry people in the world currently stands at around 925 million. 

Food prices rocket

Last week, world prices for maize, rice and wheat surged dramatically. This followed the warning from the US government that global production of these crops will fall significantly this year. Such price increases set alarm bells ringing that more poor people around the world could soon be without food. There are fears of a repeat of the 2007/2008 food price crisis which resulted in food riots in over 30 countries.  

Feed the future

However, the crisis had some positive effects. It has triggered many governments in developing countries to pay more attention to food and securing access to it. At the 2009 G8 Summit in l’Aquila, Italy, donors committed to spending $20 billion on increasing global food security.  

The US is prioritising access to food for all through its Feed the Future programme. The EU has introduced new policies on humanitarian food aid and on how it will promote access to food in developing countries.

The 2010 Global Hunger Index report was published this week. It highlights the 1,000 days between pregnancy and age two as critical to reducing world hunger.

Stop hunger

But the economic and public finance crisis imposes real restraints on the amount of resources available to stop world hunger. This is the stark reality of World Food Day 2010.

The next six months will be critical in determining whether the number of hungry people in the world will increase or not. Let’s hope not. You can do something. Donate now