Is complete hunger eradication possible by 2015?

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According to the State of Food Insecurity in the World 2014 (SOFI 2014) report, the number of hungry people has declined globally by more than 100 million over the last decade, which means that the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving the proportion of undernourished people by 2015 is within reach if appropriate and immediate efforts are stepped up.  

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The report is published annually by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP).

“This is proof that we can win the war against hunger and should inspire countries to move forward, with the assistance of the international community as needed,” the heads of FAO, IFAD and WFP, José Graziano da Silva, Kanayo F. Nwanze and Ertharin Cousin, wrote in their foreword to the report.

“Accelerated, substantial and sustainable hunger reduction is possible with the requisite political commitment. This has to be well informed by sound understanding of national challenges, relevant policy options, broad participation and lessons from other experiences.”

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To date, 63 developing countries have reached the MDG target and six more are on track to reach it by 2015 however a United Nations (UN) report confirmed that 805 million people worldwide, or one in nine, still suffer from hunger.

SOFI 2014 noted that access to food has improved in Southern Asia and Latin America mainly in countries with adequate safety nets and social protection. However, in sub-Saharan Africa, more than one in four people remain chronically undernourished while Asia, the world’s most populous region, is home to 526 million hungry people.

The heads of FAO, IFAD and WFP therefore welcomed pledged at the 2014 African Union summit to end hunger in Africa by 2025.

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Since food insecurity and malnutrition cannot be solved by one stakeholder alone, the group called on all governments, civil society and the private sector to work closely together.

“Hunger eradication requires establishing an enabling environment and an integrated approach. Such an approach includes public and private investments to increase agricultural productivity; access to land, services, technologies and markets; and measures to promote rural development and social protection for the most vulnerable, including strengthening their resilience to conflicts and natural disasters,” the report specified.