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Asia-Pacific meets MDG goal

The Asia-Pacific region has achieved the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of reducing the proportion of people suffering from hunger by half to 12 percent by 2015, the Food and Agriculture Organization said Friday.

FAO assistant director general Hiroyuki Konuma said in a statement that said some of the greatest reductions in the proportion of those hungry during the 25 years since 1990 were seen in China (61 percent), Thailand (79 percent), Vietnam (76 percent) and Indonesia (62 percent).

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“However, while the region as a whole has achieved the MDG proportional hunger target, the achievements are uneven at subregional levels,” said Konuma, who is also FAO regional representative for Asia and the Pacific.

While East Asia and Southeast Asia performed the best among sub-regions, South Asia failed to meet targets.

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“And while overall the Asia-Pacific region achieved the largest reduction in the absolute number of undernourished people in the world—some 236 million people— this was not sufficient to meet the additional target set by the 1996 World Food Summit (WFS) to reduce the absolute numbers by half,” Konuma said.

He meant there were still 490 million people in the region who suffer from chronic hunger, the highest number for any part of the world.

“We cannot and must not think everything is all right—it’s not,” Konuma added. “With 12 percent of our population still undernourished we must turn our full attention to them.”

As early as December 2014, the FAO cited the Philippines as among the countries that showed “outstanding progress” in efforts to fight hunger, mainly for having achieved MDG goals ahead of the deadline. The FAO said that in the Philippines, meeting the MDG goal was attributable to economic growth and government policies put in place over the last two decades.

The United Nations agency said 12 other countries were also recognized, including Brazil, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Iran, Kiribati, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico and Uruguay.

All of the 13 countries have halved the proportion to the population of people who suffer from hunger based on the MDG, which need to be attained before 2016, or reducing by half the absolute number of hungry people by the end of 2015—a goal set during the WFS of 1996.

Also, Brazil, Cameroon and Uruguay have achieved the more ambitious WFS target.

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TAGS: Asia-Pacific Region, Business, Millennium Development Goal
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