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WORLD HUNGER WORSENS

"Global numbers afflicted by acute hunger rose from 850 million to 925 million by the start of this year because of rising prices, the head of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation said Wednesday. The number of people suffering from malnutrition, before the worst effects of global price rises, "rose just in 2007 by 75 million," Jacques Diouf, director-general of the Rome-based agency, told an Italian parliament committee, according to ANSA news agency. An FAO prices index showed global food price rises of 12 percent in 2006, 24 percent in 2007 and 50 percent over the first eight months of 2008, Diouf added -- suggesting the number affected is likely to top one billion by the end of the year. "Thirty billion dollars per year must be invested to double food production and eliminate hunger," Diouf said, calling the figure "modest" in comparison with the amount many countries spend on arms and agriculture." (Yahoo News, 17 September) RD

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