AP Interview: UN food chief says to end hunger, end conflict

The head of the U.N. food agency is telling world leaders that the only way to end global hunger is to end conflicts, which would also free up billions of dollars to build roads and infrastructure and promote economic growth in all developing countries.

David Beasley said in an interview with The Associated Press this week that 19 countries are in "protracted conflict" — which is "more conflict than we've ever had" — and 80 percent of the World Food Program's funds are going into conflict regions.

For many years, he said, the number of people facing extreme hunger fell despite the increase in global population, but in the last few years the number of extremely hungry people increased from 777 million to 815 million — "because of man-made conflict."