President V.V. Giri of India warned on Wednesday (18 October) of growing anger, discontent and?
President V.V. Giri of India warned on Wednesday (18 October) of growing anger, discontent and frustration, among millions of people in the developing world who were unable to raise their standards of living. He was speaking at the opening of the 11th regional conference of the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Opening the conference, he told delegates from 19 Asian countries that while Man had walked on the moon, countless numbers of people on earth lived their entire lives under the shadow of hunger and starvation. "The enormity of the problem is tending to grow with the large mass of new generation becoming familiar with the prosperity being enjoyed by other people", he said.
Food production had to be raised - on a sustained basis, he said - and he stressed the importance of research and training. He said the problems of hunger and malnutrition were a serious challenge to the developing countries as well as for the UN and its agencies.
Dr Addeke Boerma, the director-general of the FAO, said the Soviet Union's decisions to buy large stocks of grain from the west had reduced stocks available for fighting disasters in the developing world. But he added that there was no cause for alarm as existing stocks could cope with any crisis that could be envisaged at present. Dr Boerma warned that what has been called "the green revolution" in improved food production, tended to benefit big farmers rather than poor ones, and could increasingly aggravate social discontent rather than reducing it.
He also reported that FAO faced a financial crisis, with a correct deficit of seven million dollars (about 2.4 million pounds sterling i??? a total biennial budget of 86 million dollars (34 million sterling). He said the situation could worsen if some big contributors failed to pay up.