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close this bookEnergy after Rio - Prospects and Challenges - Executive Summary (UNDP, 1997, 38 p.)
close this folder2. Energy and Major Global Issues
close this folder2.1 Energy and Social Issues
View the document2.1.1 Poverty
View the document2.1.2 Gender Disparity
View the document2.1.3 Population
View the document2.1.4 Undernutrition and Food

2.1.4 Undernutrition and Food

About 800 million people, approximately 15% of the population in developing countries, are undernourished. The elimination of chronic undernutrition will require at least: (i) elimination of poverty through jobs creation (and thereby better distribution of income), and (ii) increased food production. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimates that a 35% increase of recent food production in developing countries is required by the year 2010. This could be achieved by increasing crop yields, by a greater intensity of cropping and perhaps also by bringing new land into agricultural production.

the pattern of energy use influences population growth

Gastro-intestinal parasites can undermine nutritional status by consuming, perhaps as much as 10-15% of the food intake, often termed the “leaky bucket” syndrome. This problem has to be tackled by health care and the provision of safe water and a clean living environment.

Many measures are necessary such as the raising of incomes through employment generation, the provision of a healthy environment, and programmes of supplementary nutrition for vulnerable groups. Several of these measures are strongly energy-related and if energy is to contribute to the solution of the problem of undernutrition, the energy components of these measures must be built into development strategies.