22 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The UN's health agency says malnutrition and child mortality rates have increased in Asia and Africa, despite international efforts to cut them.
In 2000, the UN pledged to try to halve world hunger by 2015. But a new report by the World Health Organization concludes that the situation has actually worsened, as poor countries struggle with chronic food supply problems.
The report cites growing populations and poor agricultural productivity as the main reasons for food shortages.
Infant mortality rates also grew sharply in South Asia between 1999 and 2003. There was also a sharp rise in infant mortality in North Africa.
Also today, a new report by the international children's agency Plan finds that almost half of Asia's children -- 600 million -- are severely deprived of food, health care, and shelter. The group says 350 million Asian children live in what the group describes as "absolute poverty."
UN Warns Of Afghan Maternal-Mortality 'Emergency'