The global economic crisis and high food prices are major reasons why 1.02 billion people (one-sixth of the world's population) don't have enough to eat, says a United Nations' agency report released Friday. Most of those going hungry -- defined as consuming less than 1,800 calories a day -- are in developing nations.
The Food and Agriculture Organization said there are 100 million more people going hungry this year than in 2008, and that more aid and agricultural investment are needed to help people in poor countries get enough to eat, the Associated Press reported.
The largest number of hungry people (642 million) are in Asia and the Pacific region, while the highest rate of hunger (32 percent) is in sub-Saharan Africa.
"The silent hunger crisis, affecting one-sixth of all of humanity, poses a serious risk for world peace and security," said agency Director-General Jacques Diouf, the AP reported.
To highlight the connection between hunger and peace, officials noted that rising prices for staples such as rice caused riots in the developing world last year, the AP reported.