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AFRO-NETS> Halving hunger: the numbers

  • Subject: AFRO-NETS> Halving hunger: the numbers
  • From: Claudio Schuftan <aviva@netnam.vn>
  • Date: Mon, 9 Sep 2002 11:48:05 -0400 (EDT)

Halving hunger: the numbers

Today, a total of 792 million people in developing countries remain
chronically hungry. Around 3/4 live in rural areas, and more than 60%
are women. The cost of halving the number of the hungry was estimated
at U$ 60 billion over the 18 years from 1997 to 2015: just over US$ 3
billion a year in increased spending.

There are more chronically hungry people in Asia, but 18 out of 23
countries facing the most severe problems are African. 70% of Afri-
cans work in agriculture in some capacity. Aid to African agriculture
has fallen by 40% since 1980. A 1% increase in crop yields reduces
the number of people living on less than US$ 1 a day by between 0.6
and 1.2%.

Armed conflict and civil strife caused agricultural output losses in
developing countries estimated at an average of US$ 4.3 bill a year
between 1970 and 1997. Between 1968 and 1998, international trade in
major foodstuffs increased twice as fast as food production. Agricul-
tural trade is less than 10% of total world merchandise trade. Most
- 70% of both exports and imports - is between developed countries
(70% by transnationals; a small number of these dominate major traded
agricultural commodities).

Source: Food for All, Panos Inst., 2001

Claudio Schuftan
Hanoi, Vietnam

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