UN takes initiative against hunger

Courtesy Photo
Courtesy Photo

According to the United Nations, over 800 million people worldwide suffer from hunger.

That is 1 in 9 people in the world that deal with the hardships of hunger. The U.N. is taking action as a result of the crisis by its set Millennium Development Goal that plans to half the ratio of undernourished people by the year 2015. According to a new joint U.N. agency report, this goal is still within reach.

The amount of malnourished people has decreased throughout the world by over 100 million in the past two years and by more than 200 million since the end of the 20th century as reported by the State of Food Insecurity in the World.

“China alone has reduced the number of undernourished people by 138 million in this period, while the 10 countries that have achieved greatest success in reducing the total number of hungry people in proportion to their national population are: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Cuba, Georgia, Ghana, Kuwait, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Thailand and Venezuela,” the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in a recent press release.

Currently, 63 of the developing countries have reached the Millennium Development Goals of halving the number of undernourished people by 2015 and six countries are on track to reaching this goal. 

“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 the three U.N. food agencies wrote in their foreword to the report according to the U.N. News Centre.

The U.N. report mentioned an improvement to the availability and access to food, particularly in East and Southeast Asia, regions experiencing economic growth. Access to food has become easier to attain in Southern Asia and in Latin America. There has been progress in the worldwide hunger issue, but many regions encounter severe hunger. 

“In Sub-Saharan Africa, more than 1 in 4 people remain chronically undernourished, while Asia, the world’s most populous region, is also home to the majority of the hungry – 526 million people,” according to the report. 

Although progress has been made in some countries, the improvement has been at very slow rates in African countries like Botswana, Madagascar, Uganda and Zambia, where the number of hungry people in their populations increased, according to the report. 

“The same was true of Asian countries such as the Democratic Republic of Korea, Iraq, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, among others. In Latin America, El Salvador and Guatemala show relatively slow progress, despite the good performance of the region as a whole.”

The U.N. said these numbers of malnourished humans are unacceptably high and advocates for renewed political commitment to fight hunger and to take action against the issue. 

“The U.N. knows all these scary facts, but people see no action being taken to stop issues like hunger,” said senior marketing major Eric Zitter.

The U.N. report includes seven countries for case studies:  Bolivia, Brazil, Haiti, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malawi and Yemen. These studies point out the methods to defeating hunger and how external occurrences can influence nutrition goals and delivering food security. An October meeting will be held at the FAO headquarters to discuss the found facts and to propose solutions.