Global report says 870 million rural people hungry

At least 870 million people are facing hunger worldwide and they are mainly in the rural areas, a global report by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations has estimated.

FAO released the report on Wednesday as part of activities to mark both World Food Day and International Day for Rural Women.

Kachere–Governments must be ashamed for sustaining this inequality–Photo by Watipaso Mzungu, Nyasa Times

The organization proclaimed World Food Day over 50 years ago to raise awareness of the fact that millions of poor people go to bed hungry daily.

“Presently the number of hungry people is 870 million and they are mainly in the rural areas. The bulk of which are women and children. This is against the fact that women constitute 60 to 70 percent of the agricultural labourers, they are the processors of food and cookers of the food that the world eats,” reads the report in part.

Reacting to the news, chairperson for the Rural Women’s Assembly (RWA) in Malawi, Alice Kachere, said this should be a wake-up call for the governments to address social and economic inequalities that tend to disadvantage rural women and children.

Kachere challenged rural women to take advantage of this year’s commemoration to shame the governments, the institutions that allow this level of poverty, inequality and hunger to co-exist with obscene wealth and waste.

“We cannot be silent, as the RWA we demand urgent change that puts people before profits, we want to be well and we want to defend the climate and advance food sovereignty, seed sovereignty and living simply but with wellness and without hunger,” she said.

RWA is a movement of African farmers, peasants, smallholders, fisherwomen and farmworkers who argue that if they are supported with related resources- land, water, markets, financial resources and the policy environment is conducive, they have the potential to make a change.

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