BEIJING, June 22 (Xinhuanet) -- The global economic downturn has led to more people--about one in six people-- than ever before go hungry, according to the United Nations.
The number of chronically hungry people has passed 1 billion for the first time as the economic crisis compounds the impact of still high food prices, the UNs Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said Friday.
According to UN FAQ Director-General Jacques Diouf: "the number of those suffering from chronic hunger in the world has topped one billion in 2009. One billion and 20 million to be more precise," he says.
Diouf said a "dangerous mix" of the global economic slowdown and very high food prices pushed another 100 million people into the hungry category over the past year.
"Neither drought, nor floods or disastrous harvests can be held to blame this time. Worsening hunger in the last three years largely stems from economic shocks," he said.
¡°The silent hunger crisis, affecting one-sixth of all of humanity, poses a serious risk for world peace and security,¡± Diouf said. ¡°Today, increasing hunger is a global phenomenon. All world regions have been affected.¡±
The warning came after the FAO and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said earlier last week that agricultural commodities prices would rise 10-30 per cent over the next 10 years compared with their average of 1997-2006, less than previously feared because of lower economic growth and oil prices.