27% of Bolivians Go Hungry

Report: Bolivia has the highest rate of malnutrition in the region.

In Latin America, Bolivia has the highest number of people who go hungry, according to a report revealed by the Regional Office of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. In Bolivia 27% of the population suffers from lack of food.

According to the FAO report, in Latin America and the Caribbean the situation is worrisome. Between 2006 and 2009 the malnutrition index increased from 47 to 53 million. In Bolivia, in 1996 there were 2 million people who went hungry but by 2007 this had increased to 2.5 million, equivalent to 27% of the population. The data show that Bolivia occupies first place in the regional malnutrition index, followed by Ecuador and Peru, each with 15%.

On World Food Day, which is celebrated today (October 16) the FAO demands a commitment from countries to eradicate hunger which affects over 900 million people all over the world.

Although the number of people who go hungry decreased from 1,023 million to 925 million for the first time in 15 years, the number is unacceptable to the FAO.

The FAO's regional representative, José Graziano da Silva, stated that in order to reduce hunger in Latin America it is necessary to strengthen the ties between economic growth and social inclusion. "Along with increases in social expenses made by the countries, it is important to promote policies that ensure economic growth will be more inclusive," explained Graziano, as he presented the 2010 report on the panorama of food security in the region.

The analysis suggests that a midterm agenda of public policies for food security, that connects economic growth with social inclusion, should have three axes: basic food production by family agriculture; an increase in the competency, efficiency and equity of food, financial and rural labor markets; and expansion of social protection.

FAO General Director Jacques Diouf, asked for unity in the struggle against hunger and noted that food security is everyone's responsibility. Likewise, Diouf called upon the international community to commit to eradicating hunger by 2015.

This is a translation. Read this Article in Spanish.

Source: El Deber
Date: 16 October 2010

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