The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced Friday, June 19, that a record high number of people are now going hungry every day. The world economic crisis, ushered in by an era of inattention to regulatory abuses in the financial industry during the Bush Administration, has pushed an additional 100 million people into a state of daily hunger in the past year.
Part of the problem relates to persistently high food prices, which have affected people in every region of the world and have led to 1/6 of the world's population now consuming less than 1800 calories per day, according the UN agency.
The director general of the FAO described this level of hunger as a "serious risk" to world peace and security. Coupled with the loss of income for other needs like housing, director general Jacques Diouf said the situation was a "devastating combination for the world's most vulnerable."
The UN said that roughly 642 million hungry people live in the Asia-Pacific region, with another 265 million in sub-Saharan Africa--31% of the entire population of Africa. Only 15 million people are left hungry to a similar degree in the developed world.
FAO spokesman Kostas Stamoulis, director of the organization's development department, said, "It's the first time in human history that we have so many hungry people in the world...and that's a contradiction, because a lot of the world is very rich despite the economic crisis."