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2014-09-16

FAO report: 805 million still chronically undernourished

Asia Most of the world"s hungry live in Asia (Photo: Gwenael Piaser/flickr)

About 805 million people in the world, or one in nine, suffer from hunger, according to new estimates published today by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Programme (WFP). The vast majority of hungry people - 791 million - lived in developing regions in 2012-14, down by 203 million since 1990-92. However, much of the progess can be attributed to China where the number of undernourished people fell by 138 million in this period. Several regions continue to lag behind: While Latin America has been able to reduce the prevalence of undernourishment to 6.1% of the population, in sub-Saharan Africa more than one in four people remain chronically undernourished and the number increased to 214 million. Two thirds of the world’s hungry, 526 million people, live in Asia. “It is too early to celebrate. We still have to reach the 805 million people who do not have enough food to lead a healthy and productive life“, WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin said at a press conference. The FAO is optimistic that the Millennium Development Goal of of halving the proportion of undernourished people in developing countries by 2015 can be reached if greater efforts are made. Between 1990-92 and 2012-14, the prevalence of undernourishment has fallen from 23.4% to 13.5% in developing countries, also due to a growing world population. In order to meet the MDG hunger target, the prevalance of undernourishment would have to decline to 11.7%. The FAO admits that the more ambitious World Food Summit target of halving the absolute number of undernourished people to 500 million by next year will not be achieved. The report also presents seven case studies that highlight diverse experiences in creating an enabling environment to improve food security and nutrition. One of them is Brazil’s Zero Hunger programme, which placed food security at the centre of the government’s agenda and sucessfully linked poverty reduction programmes with policies to support family farming.

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The Original Report

Agriculture at a Crossroads
The original version of the full report, five regional reports and the Synthesis Report in English, with a feature that allows you to make comments and/or add important information.

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