LIMA, May 5 (Xinhua) -- A total of 53.5 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean suffer from hunger or malnutrition, experts said at an international forum here Thursday.
Juan Garcia, coordinator of the 5th work-group meeting of the Latin American and Caribbean Initiative Without Hunger, said the figure has not increased since 1990.
Experts and officials from 13 countries gathered to discuss the challenges facing regional food security and advances that have been made, hoping to make cooperative efforts to eradicate hunger and malnutrition by the year 2025.
Carcia said people affected most across the continent are still those living in rural areas as well as African descendants and indigenous people who suffer from "exclusion and inequality."
The main cause of undernutrition is not lack of food-production capacity, but access to food, Carcia said.
Six countries, Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, have approved food security laws with nine more in the process of doing so. The laws are considered as a way to ensure that local agricultural products are primarily used to feed the countries' own populations and not used for export.