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LATIN AMERICA / THE CARIBBEAN
Subnutrition continues unabated
9/23/2010
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New FAO figures show modest reductions in regional hunger.

Nine percent of the 588.6 million people living in Latin America and the Caribbean are undernourished, according new figures from the Food and Agriculture Organization, or FAO.

There are 925 million subnourished people worldwide — 53 million in Latin America and the Caribbean — and despite a 9-percent drop last year compared with 2008, the current figures are still “unacceptable,” the UN agency said on Sept. 14.

“With a child dying every six seconds because of undernourishment related problems, hunger remains the world´s largest tragedy and scandal," said FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf.

For her part, Yusiko Omura, vice president of the UN´s International Fund for Agricultural Development, said: “the world´s hungry are not just numbers.”

“They are people — poor women and men struggling to bring up their children and give them a better life; and they are youth trying to build a future for themselves. It is ironic that the majority of them actually live in rural areas of developing countries,” she added. Indeed, over 70 percent of the world´s extremely poor — those people who live on less than US$1 a day — live in rural areas. That´s a billion people, and four out of five of them are farmers to some extent or the other.”

José Graziano da Silva, the FAO´s regional representative, noted that despite the fact that agriculture is one of Latin America and the Caribbean´s chief economic motors, rural extreme poverty is still close to 30 percent, or 35 million of the 70.7 million people living in extreme poverty in the region, live in rural areas. —Latinamerica Press.


LATIN AMERICA/ CARIBBEAN
Subnutrition rate* as percentage of total population (%)

Country
2005-2007
Haiti
57
Bolivia
27
Dominican Rep.
24
Guatemala
21
Nicaragua
19
Ecuador
15
Panama
15
Peru
15
Surinam
14
Honduras
12
Paraguay
11
Trinidad & Tobago
11
Colombia
10
El Salvador
9
Venezuela
8
Guyana
7
Brazil
6
Jamaica
5

Source: FAO

* Subnutrition is defined by the FAO as persons´ food intake that is continuously insufficient to meet dietary energy requirements.


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