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UN Says World Unprepared for Rapid Growth of Cities



From VOA Learning English, this is the Economics Report. From VOA Learning English, this is the Economics Report.

The United Nations is warning that the world is not prepared to deal with the fast growth of cities. The World Economic and Social Survey 2013 calls for new ways to meet the needs of city populations. More than 6.5 billion people are expected to be living in cities by 2050.

Most new city dwellers will be in developing countries. The United Nations says the effect on limited resources in many countries will be huge. The World Economic and Social Survey notes the increasing demands for energy, water, sanitation, public services, education and health care.

The world population is expected to rise to more than 9 billion by 2050. Two-thirds of all people are expected to live in cities. The United Nations says about 80 percent of this growing urban population will be found in Africa and Asia.

The report says sustainable development of urban areas requires coordination and investments to deal with important issues. These include land-use, food security, job creation and transportation.

Willem Van Der Geest is with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, he says cities need to work closely with rural communities, so that food supplies can be secured, and the environment can be protected. The report also examined the problem of food insecurity, which affects hundreds of millions of people around the world. One in eight people is still chronically undernourished.

The Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, Shamshad Akhtar, says world food production will have to increase by 70%, that increase will be needed to feed the additional 2.3 billion people expected on the planet by the middle of the century.

For VOA Learning English, I'm Carolyn Presutti.

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