New York, NY (BBN) – Propelled by this year’s global food crisis, nearly one billion people worldwide are now hungry, an independent United Nations expert said on Monday, urging the issue to be viewed through the lens of human rights.
Prices have dropped around the world, but “the crisis is still with us,” cautioned Olivier De Schutter, the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, noting that the number of hungry has grown significantly as a result.
Numerous international responses – including Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s convening of a high-level task force – have centered around the need to boost food production to meet rising demand and lower prices, he told reporters in New York, according to a UN press statement.
“The human rights dimension has been all too often absent from these reactions,” Mr. De Schutter, who addressed the General Assembly on the day, said.
The “real problem of hunger” is not linked to inadequate food supplies, but rather that many people lack the purchasing power to buy available food, he pointed out.
Hunger is a political problem, he stressed, with poor governance leading to insufficient attention being paid to swathes of the population traditionally discriminated against.
BBN/SI/SS/AD-28October08-10:39 AM (BST)