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World food aid at 20-year low, 1 billion hungry
September 16, 2009 / 9:43 AM / 8 years ago

World food aid at 20-year low, 1 billion hungry

<p>A Somali woman holds her malnourished child along the corridors at Banadir hospital in the capital Mogadishu, August 10, 2009. REUTERS/Ismail Taxta</p>

LONDON (Reuters) - Food aid is at a 20-year low despite the number of critically hungry people soaring this year to its highest level ever, the United Nations relief agency said Wednesday.

The number of hungry people will pass 1 billion this year for the first time, the U.N. World Food Program (WFP) said, adding that it is facing a serious budget shortfall.

To date the WFP has confirmed $2.6 billion in funding for its 2009 budget of $6.7 billion.

“This comes at a time of great vulnerability for the hungry,” the WFP said in a statement.

“Millions have been buffeted by the global financial downturn, their ability to buy food is limited by stubbornly high prices. In addition, unpredictable weather patterns are causing more weather-related hunger,” the WFP said.

Editing by Anthony Barker

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