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Saturday is World Food Day

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Goodwill Ambassador, Indonesian singer Anggun, takes place for the celebrations of World Food Day on October 15, 2010 at the FAO headquarters in Rome. The World Food Day takes as its theme this year 'United Against Hunger.' (Photo : ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)

October 16, 2010 (KATAKAMI / VOA) — Jacques Diouf , the head of the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, says nearly one billion people live in chronic hunger and malnutrition.

Marking World Food Day Friday at FAO headquarters in Rome, Diouf said food production needs to increase by 70 percent to meet the needs of the hungry.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame said it is unacceptable that countless people die from hunger and related diseases in a time of prosperity and unprecedented advances in science and agriculture technology.

A recent report by the FAO say 22 countries are facing long-standing hunger.

In its annual report for 2010, the FAO said aid to those countries needs to be reoriented towards longer-term solutions aimed at improving food production capacity.

Also on Friday, FAO chief Diouf announced the the deadly cattle plague, rinderpest, is showing signs that the disease will be completely eradicated by mid-2011.

He said “rinderpest affected Africa, Asia and Europe for millennia,” causing widespread famine and decimating millions of domestic and wild animals.

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