Number Of Hungry People Down By 216 Mn Since 1990: FAO

Thursday, 28 May 2015, 10:32 Hrs
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ROME: The number of hungry people in the world decreased by 216 million in the last 25 years, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said.

The undernourished population dropped from over 1 billion in the period from 1990 to 1992 to about 795 million in 2014 to 2016, according to the "State of Food Insecurity Report 2015" released here by FAO, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and the World Food Programme (WFP).

In the same period, the prevalence of undernourishment dropped from 18.6 percent to 10.9 percent globally, and from 23.3 percent to 12.9 percent in developing countries.

"It is important to say the total number of undernourished people has fallen, and this is the main achievement," Xinhua news agency quoted FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva as saying.

The report highlighted that 72 developing countries out of 129, or 56 percent, were able to meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving the proportion of the hungry population in 15 years by 2015, which was when the monitoring period ended.

Moreover, the UN official said it was a significant achievement that the number of hungry people had dropped by 216 million between 1990 and 2015, despite a 1.9-billion surge in the world's population during that time.

More specifically, the report stated the number of hungry people at a global level had declined by 167 million over the last 10 years.

"The countries making the best progress were those showing the strongest political will (to fight hunger), a will coming not only from the government but also from the society," Da Silva declared.

For developing regions as a whole, the target to reduce the proportion of the world's hungry by 50 percent by 2015 was missed by a small margin, the FAO report said.

The most significant improvements at a global level were registered in Central Asia, South East Asia, North Africa and South America.

"Changes in large populous countries, notably China and India, play a large part in explaining the overall hunger reduction trends in the developing regions," the report said.

The three UN agencies also addressed the main failures in the global process to achieve the first MDG.

Notably, sub-Saharan African countries had the highest prevalence of hunger, with 23.2 percent of the people not getting enough food, and 24 African countries currently facing a food crisis, twice as many as in 1990, according to the report.

On the other hand, southern Asian countries showed the highest burden in terms of numbers, with 281.4 million people undernourished.

The hunger rate in countries facing protracted crises was more than three times higher than elsewhere, the report said.

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Source: IANS
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