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Iraq: UN Agencies Say Millions In Country Desperately Hungry

Rome, 23 September 2003 (RFE/RL) -- UN food agencies say that several million Iraqis remain desperately hungry despite a better cereals crop and the lifting of economic sanctions. The Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in a statement today that "chronic malnutrition persists among several million vulnerable people."

The agency said the hardest hit included some 100,000 refugees and 200,000 displaced people.

A report on Iraqi food supplies and nutrition published by FAO and the World Food Program, both UN agencies, said nearly half of Iraq's 26.3 million people are in need of humanitarian aid.

This year's cereal production in Iraq is forecast at 4.12 million tons, 22 percent more than in 2002.