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UN for accountable steps to check global hunger

world Updated: Mar 10, 2009 09:53 IST

The poor is still unable to excess food despite falling prices worldwide, a top UN official said on Tuesday, emphasising the need to take concrete steps with 'better accountability' to fight the global hunger.

High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay told the Geneva-based Human Rights Council that it must target its work towards helping the most marginalised segments of society.

Pillay maintained that any successful strategy to defeat hunger should involve stronger institutions with better accountability, sustainable investments in agricultural production and research, and targeted support to small-scale farmers and the poor.

Last year, the number of the world's hungry surged from 854 million to 967 million due to the steep climb in prices of staple foods. In spite of dropping prices, they remain higher than they were in 2002, leaving the poor still unable to purchase food, she noted.

Further, lower food costs are actually discouraging agricultural investment, Pillay said, impeding efforts to step up food production, especially the capacity of small-hold farmers to sustain their livelihoods.