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Hunger is on the rise, U.N. official says

From the Associated Press

About 18,000 children die every day because of hunger and malnutrition, and 850 million people go to bed every night with empty stomachs, a “terrible indictment of the world in 2007,” the head of the U.N. food agency said.

James Morris called for students and young people, faith-based groups, the business community and governments to join forces in a global movement to alleviate and eliminate hunger -- especially among children.

Morris, former president of the Lilly Endowment, one of the largest charitable organizations in the United States, is stepping down as executive director of the Rome-based World Food Program in April after five years of leading the world’s largest humanitarian organization.

He said the percentage of people who are hungry has decreased from a fifth of the world’s population to a sixth, but the number of hungry people is growing by about 5 million a year because of the rising population.

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“Today 850 million people are hungry and malnourished. Over half of them are children; 18,000 children die every single day because of hunger and malnutrition,” Morris said. “This is a shameful fact, a terrible indictment of the world in 2007, and it’s an issue that needs to be solved.”


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