Despite the finding that nearly 800 million people in the world remain hungry, the U.N. report described the progress made in the past 25 years as a significant achievement.
The number of hungry people globally has declined from about 1 billion 25 years ago to about 795 million today, or about one person out of every nine, despite a surge in population growth, the United Nations reported Wednesday.
In developing regions, the number of hungry people has fallen to 780 million today, or 12.9 percent of the population, from 991 million 25 years ago, or 23.3 percent of the population at the time, according to the United Nations’ annual hunger report, published by the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Program.
Despite the finding that nearly 800 million people in the world remain hungry, the report described the progress made as a significant achievement.
It said that 72 of the 129 nations monitored by the Food and Agriculture Organization had achieved the target under the so-called Millennium Development Goals of halving the percentages of hungry people in their populations and that developing regions had missed the target by only a small margin. The Millennium Development Goals (MDG) are a set of eight international objectives, including hunger eradication, established by the United Nations in 2000.
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“The near-achievement of the MDG hunger targets shows us that we can indeed eliminate the scourge of hunger in our lifetime,” José Graziano da Silva, the director general of the Food and Agriculture Organization, said in announcing the report: “The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2015.” The report attributed the hunger reduction in part to stable political conditions and economic growth in many of the countries that had met the target.
Progress was most pronounced in East Asia, Southeast and Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.
But the report also illustrated failures, especially in parts of Africa, where in some regions more than one in three people remain hungry. Twenty-four African countries face food crises, the report said, twice as many as in 1990.
The report said: “Extreme weather events, natural disasters, political instability and civil strife have all impeded progress.” The report also said that hunger rates in countries suffering protracted crises were more than three times higher than elsewhere. In 2012, the report said, 366 million people were living under such conditions, and 129 million of them were hungry.