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Published on Oct 16, 2009
United Nations, New York, 16 October 2009 - Today is World Food Day. The theme this year is achieving food security in times of crisis. Marking this occasion, the Secretary-General says in a message that over the past two years, volatile food prices, the economic crisis, climate change and conflict have led to a dramatic and unacceptable rise in the number of people who cannot rely on getting the food they need to live, work and thrive. The Secretary-General calls on all to respond to respond to the needs of the hungry -- by ensuring adequate political and financial support for emergency food assistance and by investing in food production and distribution. Meanwhile, the World Food Programme (WFP) is calling on the world to remember the more than one billion urgently hungry people with inadequate access to food. World Food Day is actually No Food Day for almost one out of every six people around the world this year, said WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran. She added that for decades, WFP has been able to feed around ten per cent of the world's hungriest men, women and children, but this year, for the first time, the agency is unlikely to reach that target. And Jacques Diouf, the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Programme (FAO) asked world leaders to reach a road consensus on the total and rapid elimination of hunger when they gather in Rome for the World Summit on Food Security, on November 16-18.