Still 800 million hungry people in the world

The United Nations (UN)’s World Food Program (WFP) announced that 72 countries have achieved the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) of halving proportion of hungry people. This is good news although officials talked about “uneven progress”. Worldwide, the number has decreased around 21 percent to around 795 million people, down from 1.01 billion 25 years ago. “The near-achievement of the MDG hunger targets shows us that we can indeed eliminate the scourge of hunger in our lifetime,” said Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director General José Graziano da Silva. However challenging global economic conditions, security threats and climate change could slow this positive trend down as around 1 out of every 9 people is still suffering from hunger.

According to the State of Food Insecurity in the World 2015 (SOFI) report delivered by the FAO, economic growth – and improved agricultural productivity as a result – remains a “key success factor for reducing undernourishment.” The report also underlines how “protracted crises, due to conflict or natural disasters, have deleterious effects on progress in hunger reduction.” For instance, the risk of hunger is 3 times higher in countries enduring crisis. Most of the progress has taken place in Asia and in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) whereas Sub-Saharan Africa has remained the region “with the highest prevalence” of hunger in the world with almost 1 in every 4 people concerned. This is also the region where crisis except from recent developments in Iraq/Syria/Yemen have been the most violent.