A number of people suffering from hunger reduced by 167 million – a great progress on the way to hunger alleviation. Still, one in every nine people suffers from chronical hunger and its consequences. Socio-political instability and natural disasters are the two major factors that compromise food security. This is according to the latest edition of the State of Food Insecurity report, SOFI 2015, published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, FAO, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD, and the World Food Programme, WFP.
The report is an assessment of the global progress towards the eighth Millennium Development Goal, “eradicate extreme poverty and hunger by 2015” which includes among its targets “cutting by half the proportion of people who suffer from hunger”. The good news is that 72 of the 129 countries have reached the target, and 29 countries managed to halve the number of undernourished people among their populations – a goal posed at the World Food Summit 1996.
The SOFI report highlights some key factors to success in reducing hunger. Economic growth is central, but only if it is inclusive and provides opportunities for the poor. Expanding primary sectors is also an important factor, mainly agriculture, fisheries and forestry. Strengthening the social protection system, in terms of cash transfer programmes, food distributions schemes and employment guarantee programmes, can help to improve the lives and the livelihoods of the poor. Well-functioning markets for food input and labor generating jobs are essential for an inclusive growth. These factors not only reduce hunger but also contribute to poverty alleviation.
According to the report, a future without hunger and poverty is best accomplished with stable political conditions and economic growth, accompanied by social protection policies. But the question still remains: How long will it take us to achieve a world without hunger and poverty?
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