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Press Release New paper on ways to fight hunger and malnutrition


Want to ease the consequences of the global food crisis on the world’s hungry? For only $347 million a year 80% of the world’s hungry can get essential micronutrients adding up to more than $5 billion in reduced healthcare spending and future earnings. …

Copenhagen, Denmark (April 9, 2008) – Malnutrition in mothers and their young children will claim 3.5 million lives this year. Global food stocks are at historic lows. Food riots have erupted in West Africa and South Asia, and the WHO said Monday that global warming will make it all even worse. Providing micronutrients in the form of iodized salt, vitamin A capsules and iron-fortified flour for 80 percent of the world’s hungry would cost $347 million a year but yield a massive $5 billion from improved future earnings and reduced healthcare spending according to new study commissioned by Danish think-tank, the Copenhagen Consensus Center. Hunger leaves people more susceptible to disease, requiring more health-care spending. Those who survive the effects of malnutrition are less productive; physical and mental impairment means children benefit less from education. Eighty percent of the world’s undernourished children live in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Specific interventions to help people in these regions would have massive benefits. The Copenhagen Consensus analysis shows that devoting more money to providing the micronutrients that are lacking in the diets of people in poor communities would be an excellent approach. The analysis of hunger and malnutrition forms part of the global prioritization project Copenhagen Consensus 2008 which involves more than 50 international economists including 5 Nobel Laureates. The project investigates the costs and benefits of solutions to ten of the world’s biggest challenges: Malnutrition and hunger, conflicts, air pollution, diseases, terrorism, subsidies and trade barriers, women and development, sanitation and water, education and global warming. Bjorn Lomborg, Ph.D., director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center in Denmark, commented that ”Copenhagen Consensus is about prioritization and if you prioritize to address global warming by burning the world's food for ethanol production then that's food the world's hungry can't eat.” Also see: Project Syndicate op-ed by Bjorn Lomborg and Sue Horton: The hungry billion (in circulation) Reuters article: Micronutrients, education keys to end hunger - study (April 4, 2008) For interviews or comments contact Head of Communication Tommy Petersen,, +4538152252. For the full paper and more details on Copenhagen Consensus 2008, visit


PR 09.04.08  

Providing micronutrients in the form of iodized salt, vitamin A capsules and iron-fortified flour for 80 percent of the world’s hungry would...

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