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U.N.: Food Security Challenges Asia-Pacific
Source: upi.com
Source Date: Thursday, July 08, 2010
Focus: Knowledge Management in Government
Created: Jul 12, 2010

MANILA, Philippines, July 8 (UPI) -- More could be done to address growing food insecurity in the Asia-Pacific region but trends are reversing, U.N. officials told delegates in the Philippines.

Jacques Diouf, director general of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, told delegates at an investment forum in Manila that the number of malnourished people in the region increased by 60 million in 2009 to 642 million.

"The sheer magnitude of food insecurity is the result of the low priority that has been given to agriculture in economic development policies," he warned

The agricultural sector, however, accounts for 11 percent of the gross domestic product in developing countries in the region and more than 50 percent of the employment, the United Nations reports.

"In view of the critical dependence of this region's people on agriculture for their food security, it is encouraging to note that the long-standing neglect of agriculture is finally being reversed," he added.

He further welcomed pledges from Group of Eight leaders during their Canadian summit in June to increase resources available for food security and agriculture in the region.
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