[Committee on Food Security signage on display. Photo: FAO/Giulio Napolitano: Food security and nutrition should top development agenda after 2015 – UN officials]

ROME, JUNE 17, 2013 (PHILSTAR) By Associated Press  — Thirty-eight countries have beaten a U.N.-imposed deadline of 2015 to cut in half the proportion of hungry people.

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization on Saturday recognized the 38 countries and urged those still working to meet the U.N. target to redouble efforts.

The U.N. General Assembly in 2000 established a set of "Millennium Development Goals" for countries.

The No. 1 target was to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, including halving the proportion of hungry people by 2015.

The 38 countries include:
Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan,
Bangladesh, Benin, Brazil,
Cambodia, Cameroon, Chile, Cuba,
Djibouti, Dominican Republic,
Georgia, Ghana, Guyana,
Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan,
Malawi, Maldives,
Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria,
Panama, Peru,
St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Thailand, Togo, Turkmenistan, Uruguay, Venezuela and Vietnam.


UN food agency says 38 countries have met international target on hunger eradication

Tomatoes produced for sale at a market in Ghana. Photo: FAO/Roberto Faidutti

The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – which range from halving extreme poverty rates to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015 – form a blueprint agreed to by all the world’s countries and all the world’s leading development institutions. They have galvanized unprecedented efforts to meet the needs of the world’s poorest. From this site, explore the efforts of the UN and its partners for building a better world.

Thirty-eight countries have already met internationally-set hunger eradication targets set for 2015 to halve the percentage of hungry people, the United Nations food agency today said.

“These countries are leading the way to a better future. They are proof that with strong political will, coordination and cooperation, it is possible to achieve rapid and lasting reductions in hunger,” UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) Director-General José Graziano da Silva said.

Amid the 1,000 days of action for the eight anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), 38 countries have met part of the first MDG which calls on Member States to halve by 2015 the proportion of people who suffer from hunger.

Of those, 18 countries also reached the more stringent World Food Summit Goal of reducing by half the absolute number of undernourished people between 1990-1992 and 2010-2012. These comprise Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cuba, Djibouti, Georgia, Ghana, Guyana, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Nicaragua, Peru, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Venezuela and Vietnam.

The countries that met the anti-hunger aspect of the first MDG include Algeria; Angola; Bangladesh; Benin; Brazil; Cambodia; Cameroon; Chile; Dominican Republic; Fiji; Honduras; Indonesia; Jordan; Malawi; Maldives; Niger; Nigeria; Panama; Togo; Uruguay.

Mr. Graziano da Silva urged all countries to keep up the momentum, aiming for the complete eradication of hunger, in keeping with the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Zero Hunger Challenge.

First proposed at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Brazil last June, the challenge aims for a future where every individual has adequate nutrition.

Its five objectives are to make sure that everyone in the world has access to enough nutritious food all year long; to end childhood stunting; to build sustainable food systems; to double the productivity and income of smallholder farmers, especially women; and to prevent food from being lost or wasted.

“Globally, hunger has declined over the past decade, but 870 million people are still undernourished, and millions of others suffer the consequences of vitamin and mineral deficiencies, including child stunting,” said Mr. Graziano da Silva.

“We need to keep up our efforts, until everyone can live healthy, productive lives.”

While some 870 million people were still hungry in 2010-2012, this is just a fraction of the billions of people whose health, well-being and lives are blighted by malnutrition, FAO said in its flagship annual report launched earlier this month.

Two billion people suffer from one or more micronutrient deficiencies, while 1.4 billion are overweight, of whom 500 million are obese, according to “The State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA)”.

It adds that 26 per cent of all children under five are stunted and 31 per cent suffer from Vitamin A deficiency.

On June 16, FAO said it will honour the 38 countries that reached the anti-hunger targets in a high-level ceremony at its headquarters in Rome.

The first MDG also includes targets for halving the proportion of people whose daily income is less than $1.25, and achieving full and productive employment and decent work for all.


Target 1.A: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than $1.25 a day The target of reducing extreme poverty rates by half was met five years ahead of the 2015 deadline.

The global poverty rate at $1.25 a day fell in 2010 to less than half the 1990 rate. However, projections indicate that in 2015 almost one billion people will still be living on less than $1.25 per day.

Target 1.B: Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people Globally, 456 million workers lived below the $1.25 a day poverty line in 2011—a reduction of 233 million since 2000, heavily influenced by progress in East Asia.

Vulnerable employment —insecure, poorly paid jobs—accounted for an estimated 58 per cent of all employment in developing regions in 2011, down from 67 per cent in 1991, with women and youth more likely to hold such positions.

More than 80 per cent of working women in sub-Saharan Africa, Oceania, and Southern Asia held vulnerable jobs in 2011.

Target 1.C: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger About 850 million people, or nearly 15 percent of the global population, are estimated to be undernourished. Despite some progress, nearly one in five children under age five in the developing world is underweight. Children in rural areas are nearly twice as likely to be underweight as those in urban areas. More than 42 million people have been uprooted by conflict or persecution

QUICK FACTS GOAL 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger


The MDG target of cutting in half the proportion of people in the developing world living on less than $1 a day by 2015 remains within reach for the world as a whole.

However, this achievement will be largely the result of extraordinary success in Asia, mostly East Asia. (The UN subregion of Eastern Asia and other common definitions of East Asia contain the entirety of the People's Republic of China, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Mongolia and Taiwan.[note 3][7][1] SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA]

Culturally, China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam are commonly seen as being encompassed by cultural East Asia

In contrast, little progress has been made in reducing extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa.

New estimates released by the World Bank in August 2008 show that the number of people in the developing world living in extreme poverty may be higher than previously thought.

Using a new threshold for extreme poverty now set at $1.25 a day (purchasing power parity) in 2005 prices, the Bank concludes that there were 1.4 billion people living in extreme poverty in 2005.

Based on these data, poverty rates are estimated to have fallen from 52 per cent in 1981 to 42 per cent in 1990 and to 26 per cent in 2005.

Over a 25-year period, the poverty rate in East Asia fell from nearly 80 per cent to under 20 per cent.

In sub-Saharan Africa, the poverty rate remained constant at around 50 per cent. Even though the proportion of people worldwide suffering from malnutrition and hunger has fallen since the early 1990s, the number of The World Bank’s latest estimates show that 1.4 billion »» people in developing countries were living in extreme poverty in 2005.

Recent increases in the price of food have had a direct »» and adverse effect on the poor and are expected to push many more people – an estimated 100 million – into absolute poverty.

The proportion of children under five who are »» undernourished declined from 33 per cent in 1990 to 26 per cent in 2006. However, by 2006, the number of children in developing countries who were underweight still exceeded 140 million.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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