Battle against hunger can be won with right policies, says UN report
While the number of hungry people stands at a record 1 billion, the battle against hunger can be won with the right policies, investment and political will, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says in a new report published ahead of next week’s World Summit on Food Security.
“Pathways to Success” highlights the progress made by a number of countries that have already achieved the target of halving the number of hungry by 2015 – one of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – or are on track to do so.
The report, “through the examples it offers, provides a message of hope – the battle against hunger can be won,” FAO Director General Jacques Diouf said today as he presented the report.
“What is required is an unwavering commitment from developing country governments themselves and strong support from the international community.”
FAO says that rising global hunger figures mask the fact that 31 out of 79 countries monitored by the Rome-based agency have registered a notable decline in the number of undernourished people since the early nineties.
The report details factors underlying the success of four countries that have significantly reduced hunger, namely Armenia, Brazil, Nigeria and Viet Nam.
It cites four common factors to successfully reducing hunger. They are the creation of the right environment promoting economic growth and personal wellbeing; investment in the rural poor and outreach to the most vulnerable; ensuring achievements are maintained and safeguarded against threats; planning for a sustainable future.
Nigeria, for example, through its National Programme for Food Security, succeeded in more than doubling production and incomes of small farmers who practice rain fed agriculture by introducing improved technologies that enabled them to grow two or three crops each year instead of just one.
Boosting agricultural production and eradicating hunger will top the agenda as more than 60 heads of State and government meet in the Italian capital from 16 to 18 November for the food security summit.
Ahead of next week’s gathering, Mr. Diouf launched an online anti-hunger campaign, at www.1billionhungry.org, calling on the general public to sign a call for eradicating hunger.