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Charity cites crisis ahead of World Food Day

TAIPEI -- World Vision Taiwan called attention Sunday to a global food crisis ahead of Oct. 16 World Food Day, and urged the public to join its anti-famine campaign to raise hunger awareness.

The global population had surpassed 7 billion by the end of last year, and abnormal climate changes, high food prices, the unstable global economy and unequal distribution of food is threatening to bring about a world food crisis, the charity said.

To ensure long-term food security, World Vision Taiwan said it has been attempting to help some communities abroad cope with food crises through methods such as well-digging and using irrigation systems.

For example, the charity has successfully increased crop growth by setting up solar-powered drip-irrigation gardens in the Buwatun region of Mali in West Africa and by digging wells in Nthunguni, Kenya that provide water for both household and farming use, it said.

The two cases show that with good planning, food crises can be effectively tackled, the charity said.

It called on the public to join its “30 Hour Famine Humanitarian Relief” campaign that kicked off Sept. 1 with the aim of extending a helping hand to the world's hungry.

Participants are encouraged to join fasting events and upload photos of signed pledge cards to support fasting on Facebook, Flicker or blogs.

They are also urged to raise funds to buy food parcels for malnourished children in Niger, Chad and other countries suffering from hunger and to take part in the annual “Famine Hero Rally,” which will take place Feb. 2-3 next year in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan.

“Agricultural cooperatives — key to feeding the world” has been chosen as the theme of this year's World Food Day to highlight the role of cooperatives in improving food security and eradicating hunger.

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