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Interactive map charts world hunger

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The number of hungry and malnourished people is growing, the WFP says.
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World Food Programme

(CNN) -- The United Nations World Food Programme has added longitude and latitude to its hunger awareness campaign with the publication of an interactive map plotting the location of the world's hungriest people.

The WFP "Hunger Mapexternal link" charts the geography of hunger hotspots around the world.

Hunger crises highlighted on the inaugural edition include the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, western Sudan, flooding in Bangladesh, severe food shortages in the Andean mountains of Peru, and Afghanistan -- plagued by war, drought and poverty.

The map also charts growing numbers of hungry and malnourished people, linking to background information on WFP operations in individual countries.

"There are more than 800 million undernourished women, men and children in the world, but how many people know where they live?" said James T. Morris, WFP Executive Director.

WFP first plotted the coordinates of the world's most vulnerable hungry four years ago with a printed "Hunger Map", but this is the first online version giving the Agency a platform to highlight the world's major food emergencies in real-time.

The map is also designed as an online education tool to be used in schools and other institutions to teach the geography of hunger.

It will be available on a CD-Rom together with WFP's "Counting the Hungry" interactive presentation -- a comprehensive guide to the why, what and how of the agency's mission to stop global hunger.

The organization hopes these tools will help children, parents and teachers understand why hunger and malnutrition are now considered the number one global risks to health.

The band of red -- indicating high levels of undernourishment -- spreads across sub-Saharan Africa, where one in three people suffer from hunger, and stretches into Afghanistan, Cambodia, Mongolia and Haiti.

In these parts of the world, hunger claims more lives than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined, the WFP says.

An orange band of moderately undernourished countries tracks the Equator, stretching from Central Africa through India and the Philippines to Central America.

Clicking on each country gives more detailed information about the number of undernourished people as a proportion of total population and WFP efforts to fight their hunger.

Green shading -- indicating extremely low levels of undernourishment -- is limited to North America, Canada, Argentina, Europe and Australia. Varying degrees of undernourishment dominate the rest of the world.

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