Thailand and Vietnam have reduced the number of hungry people in their countries by more than 80 per cent since 1990, according to Jose Graziano da Silva, director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organisation.
Speaking during a side event at the 32nd FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific in Mongolia, Silva added that China had also achieved the Millennium Development Goal of reducing hunger by half by 2015.
For Asia as a whole, the proportion of hunger has fallen from 24.1 per cent in 1990-92 to 13.5 per cent in 2011-13.
While the Asia-Pacific region is on track to achieve the MDG hunger goal, more must be done, the FAO chief told participants. Even at 12 per cent (achieving the MDG target), Asia and the Pacific would still have well over 500 million hungry people, more than all other regions combined.
“We must not tolerate a situation in which a single man, woman or child is still condemned to suffer hunger in this prosperous region where there is enough food for all and the means exist to put an end to hunger.” Therefore the FAO is calling on member countries in the Asia-Pacific region, indeed worldwide, to step forward with national campaigns to join it in further promoting the United Nations’ Zero Hunger Challenge.
The Zero Hunger Challenge sets a target year of 2025. It calls for zero stunted children less than two years of age, 100-per-cent access to adequate food year-around, where all food systems are sustainable, a 100-per-cent increase in smallholder productivity and income, and a zero loss or waste of food.