By Caty Weaver

This is the VOA Special English DEVELOPMENT REPORT.

A new report says more than eight-hundred-million people in the world do not get enough food to eat. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization released its State of Food Insecurity in the World report last Monday.

The yearly study reports on the progress made toward reaching the goals set by leaders at the World Food Summit in Nineteen-Ninety-Six. Those leaders agreed to reduce the number of hungry people to four-hundred-million by the year Twenty-Fifteen. However, the latest F-A-O report says the number of hungry people has dropped by only eight-million a year. The report says the World Food Summit goal will not be reached until Twenty-Thirty unless efforts are made to speed progress.

The F-A-O says the number of hungry people must be decreased by twenty-million every year. F-A-O official Hartwig de Haen says the new report provides important tools to help policy makers move toward that goal.

The report discusses how to recognize the depth of hunger around the world. Depth of hunger can also be called food deficit. To learn food deficits, scientists first measure the average amount of food energy people get from the food they eat. Then, they establish the least amount of food energy the same people need to keep body weight secure and to carry out easy activities. The food deficit is a comparison of these two measurements.

The F-A-O report lists twenty-three countries that have the highest food deficit. Somalia, Afghanistan and Haiti are the top three. Eighteen countries on the list are in Africa.

The F-A-O report says policy-makers should consider the food needs of individual family members. For example, the report suggests that special care should be taken in understanding the food needs of women. The report explains that deaths among babies in developing countries are often linked to the diets of their mothers.

F-A-O Director-General Jacques Diouf says the international community must deal with conflicts in countries as part of the effort to reduce hunger. He says conflict causes the deepest hunger in most of the poorest countries. He also says developing countries must work with aid providers to reach the people who are suffering the worst hunger.

This VOA Special English DEVELOPMENT REPORT was written by Caty Weaver.

Voice of America Special English