A nine digit number

Good news about hunger, for a change. The FAO estimates the number of undernourished people in 2010 at 925 million. The reason for the fall from last year’s figure of 1.06 billion lies in lower food prices, particularly in Asia.

But we know that the policies underlying growing hunger in developing countries are very much in place. Although 2009 was a particularly nasty year, the recent trend in the number of hungry isn’t terribly encouraging.

And we also know that in the longer term, prices are on the way up. And the proportion of women and girls going hungry is still the same – 60%. In short, it’s important that the number of undernourished people this year is likely to be below one billion. But what’s it going to take to bring the number of hungry people down from a nine-digit-number to an eight-digit number? Hint: the same thing that ends the gendered character of hunger. The answer is left as an exercise for the reader.

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