Skip to main content

Both poor and rich nations lagging in efforts to end hunger, UN report warns

Both poor and rich nations lagging in efforts to end hunger, UN report warns

Both developing and developed countries have failed to demonstrate their commitment to set aside the resources required to achieve the eradication of hunger, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in a statement issued today in Rome.

FAO's warning comes in a paper to be presented at the 27th Session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), which will meet at the agency's Rome headquarters from 28 May to 1 June to lay the groundwork for a follow-up to the 1996 World Food Summit.

At the Rome meeting, dubbed World Food Summit: Five Years Later, heads of State and Government will explores ways of meeting the 1996 forum's goal of reducing the number of undernourished people in the world by half by 2015 at the latest. Recent data indicate that the number of hungry people in the world is declining by only 8 million people a year, not by the 20 million a year necessary to meet the target.

According to FAO, achieving the summit's goal will require that the eradication of hunger be adopted as a specific and high-priority objective nationally and internationally within poverty reduction strategies. The agency calls on the international community to recognize that all humanity enjoys a right to food in the context of international human rights legislation.

Despite a strong global consensus that the main goal for development must be the elimination of poverty and that lack of access to adequate food is the most appalling manifestation of poverty, there has been a conspicuous lack of focus within poverty reduction strategies on food security issues, the agency says. It notes that concern over hunger tends to be confined largely to highly visible emergency situations, but the bulk of the world's undernourished people face food shortages day-in, day-out throughout their lives.