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DEVELOPMENT REPORT - September 17, 2001: World Child Hunger - 2001-09-14

This is the VOA Special English Development Report.

A new food policy study says progress toward reducing hunger among children will likely slow during the next twenty years. The International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, D-C released the study. It says the number of children suffering from poor nutrition will drop by only twenty percent by the year Two-Thousand-Twenty.

Food expert Per (PARE) Pinstrup-Andersen says this is too slow. He is director general of the research organization and winner of this year’s World Food Prize. He says the number of hungry children will total more than one-hundred-thirty-million in twenty years.

Mister Pinstrup-Andersen says that immediate policy changes could increase efforts to fight poor nutrition among children by almost fifty percent. This is why researchers are urging governments and international aid groups to take action. One tool being used to support change is a computer model that estimates world hunger in twenty years. The results are based on the production and use of sixteen grains and meats. The report estimates that countries in Latin America will end hunger among children in twenty years. China will reduce it by fifty percent.

However, not all parts of the world will do as well. Mister Pinstrup-Andersen says one-third of the world’s poorly fed children will live in India. In parts of Africa, the number of poorly nourished children will increase eighteen percent unless new action is taken.

The report says an additional ten-thousand-million dollars a year could reduce child hunger by forty-two percent within twenty years. Mark Rosegrant is the lead writer of the study. He says this money equals less than one week of military spending around the world.

Currently, twenty-five-thousand-million dollars are invested in developing countries each year. The money is used to increase farm production, secure clean water supplies, develop better farming methods, and improve education and health.

The results of the study were discussed at an international conference in Bonn, Germany earlier this month. The conference brought together more than eight-hundred world leaders, policy makers, researchers and activists. They discussed ways to guarantee that everyone in the world has enough food to live a healthy life.

This VOA Special English Development Report was written by Jill Moss.