On May 27, 2015, the French news site L’Internaute had an article on dramatic reductions in world hunger.

For the first time, the number of hungry people is under one billion. In fact, the actual number is 795 million, 167 million fewer than a decade ago.

The United Nations report says that this number represents a 25% drop in 25 years.

The most progress was made in Asia (Azerbaijan, China, Thailand, Burma, Vietnam) and Latin America (Brazil, Chile, Venezuela, Bolivia).

Sub-Saharan African countries are still an issue, especially Central Africa, Liberia, Madagascar, Namibia, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia, where the UN said progress was ‘very slow’.

As a whole, the worldwide reduction is comfortably in line with the UN’s Millennium Development Goals. L’Internaute explains (emphases mine):

more than half of countries in the developing world have achieved Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Number One, defined in New York in 2000, envisaging a reduction in hunger by half over 15 years. ‘Some (9) missed it by very little,’ said the Director General of the FAO [Food and Agriculture Organisation], José Graziano da Silva, during a press conference.

This occurred:

despite a continual increase in population of 1.9 billion more people since 1990.

Take that, Malthusians!

Stanlake Samkange, who presides over the World Food Programme (WFP) pointed out that, while economic growth is important in reducing hunger, it isn’t everything. He said there was not necessarily a correlation between:

a reduction in economic poverty and a reduction in hunger.

The UN report says that efforts must continue in helping farmers, particularly small-scale or isolated ones, to produce more and better crops — as well as get them to market.

Another ongoing challenges are natural disasters, financial crises and military conflicts, all of which disrupt or delay progress.

That said, the WFP and FAO are confident that the Millennium Goals on hunger are achievable. The latest cost estimate is $3,000bn.

 

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