FAO honors the achievements of 13 countries in fighting hunger
Updated: Dec 13, 2019
The UN Food and Agricultural organization has honored the achievements of thirteen countries for outstanding progress in fighting hunger, an achievement which includes reaching international targets ahead of the end-of-2015 deadline. Brazil, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Gabon, the Gambia, Iran, Kiribati, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, the Philippines and Uruguay are the latest in a growing list of countries to make great strides in combating undernourishment. This includes the early achievement of the Millennium Development Goal 1 (MDG-1) hunger target - to halve the proportion of hungry people by 2015 - or the more stringent 1996 World Food Summit target of halving the absolute number of hungry people by 2015. In a ceremony at FAO headquarters in Rome, the Organization's Director-General, José Graziano da Silva, awarded diplomas to government representatives of the 13 countries; among those receiving the awards was Ethiopia's Minster of Agriculture, Tefera Derbew. The FAO Director-General told recipients that "You have overcome major challenges in difficult global economic conditions and policy environments. You have demonstrated the will and mobilized the means." Mr. da Silva said progress in eradicating worldwide hunger over the next ten years was gaining momentum but he added much more needed to be done and 805 million people still suffered from chronic undernourishment. There was a very real need, he said, to "improve the quality and efficiency of food systems, promote rural development, increase productivity, raise rural incomes, improve access to food, and strengthen social protection.” According to FAO estimates, Ethiopia, Gabon, the Gambia, Iran, Kiribati, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico and the Philippines have now reached the MDG-1 hunger target, while Brazil, Cameroon and Uruguay have also achieved the more ambitious WFS target of halving the number of hungry by 2015. To date, 63 developing countries have reached the MDG target, and six more are on track to reach it by 2015. Of the 63 countries which have reached the MDG target, 25 have also achieved the more ambitious World Food Summit (WFS) target of halving the number of undernourished people by 2015. The UN State of Food Insecurity in the World 2014 (SOFI 2014) report, released earlier this year, identified several critical factors driving the success achieved by countries in reducing hunger. Chief among these was transforming political commitment into effective action. It also noted that in several countries, including Ethiopia, the achievement of these internationally established goals is attributable to economic growth and the policies put in place by governments over the last two decades. In addition, in most countries, interventions in agriculture have been complemented by social protection programs aiming to provide immediate relief to vulnerable population groups.