Many of the world’s economies are straining. Few of us feel that more keenly than hungry people in poor countries. Not only are hunger and malnutrition still the greatest threat to world health, they are getting worse. In the latter half of the 1990s the number of hungry people rose by 18 million according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). A cruel combination of factors means that life for hungry people - and those dedicated to serving them - is likely to be even tougher in 2004.