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Natural disasters have hit the Asia-Pacific region this week: the tsunami near Samoa Islands; Typhoon Ketsana striking The Philippines, then Viet Nam, Cambodia and Laos; and earthquakes in Indonesia. Recent lessons learned by international agencies, NGOs and local authorities are being put to practice in coordinated relief efforts. This year World Food Day (October 16) will focus on how to ensure food security in times of crisis. The global situation has worsened: the number of people suffering from hunger has been growing relentlessly in recent years, aggravated by rising food prices, climate change impacts and the economic crisis. FAO estimates that the number of hungry people could increase by a further 100 million in 2009 and pass the one billion mark. The fisheries sector alone is a source of livelihood, either directly or indirectly, for some 500 million people, most of them living in developing countries. While it is crucial to promote sustainable fisheries, people must also have adequate access to them in order to ensure food security -- see a special report The Missing Element to learn more. The World Summit on Food Security (November 2009) will gather leaders from around the globe to discuss and agree on key actions on tackling and facing the challenges of the current situation.
From the Editors of ATLAS OF THE SEA.