UN: Apathy worsening food crisis

Billions of dollars are being wasted on obese people in the West while millions starve around the world, Jacques Diouf, the United Nations food agency chief, has told world leaders at a summit on food security in Rome.

Speaking at the opening of the three-day UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) summit in Italy's capital, Diouf also highlighted how an estimated $1.2 trillion was spent on weapons in 2006 while aid to agriculture fell by more than half, from $8bn (1984) to $3.4bn (2004).

Diouf lamented the failure to reach a goal set by the 1996 World Food Summit in Rome for reducing the number of hungry people in the world by half by 2015. "With current trends, the summit's goal will be attained in 2150 instead of 2015," he said. "The international community reacts, unfortunately, only when the media bring into the living rooms of wealthy countries the sad spectacle of those who suffer in the world."

[Al Jazeera English]

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