1.02 billion people hungry

The FAO (UN Food and Agriculture Organization) publishes new estimates that the number of undernourished people in the world has climbed to 1.02 billion (from ~925m last year and ~850m in 2005). The main drivers of the rise are the global economic slowdown and high food prices, which have subsided somewhat from highs in 2008 but still not returned to 2002-2004 levels.

This is sad because undernourishment has lifelong negative effects and because hunger is, as Amartya Sen argued in his signature body of work, overwhelmingly an issue of economic access rather than physical access. The world produces enough food, the poor just don't have enough money to buy it.

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