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Hungry People Count Dropped Worldwide: UN Food and Agriculture Organization
Sep 19, 2014

The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization released its annual report recently ; it found that the number of people around the world suffering from hunger has been reduced by 100 million over the past decade. That's a slight quickening of progress since the early '90s, when there were 200 million more hungry people than there are today—in a world with 2 billion fewer people, that means the rate has gone down. 

More than 805 million hungry people remain globally. The key to hunger reduction is ensuring that everyone can afford to buy food. Sole reliance on subsistence farming is a recipe for cyclical famine.

According to UN officials, “In 2000, the U.N. set its Millennium Development Goals, one of which targeted a 50 percent reduction in hunger rates for developing countries by 2015. With this encouraging new report, the goal seems in reach, but it can only be accomplished if the right steps are taken. Political commitment at the highest level is crucial. Resources, human as well as financial, are extremely important for ensuring that progress is achieved.”

According to the report, 63 developing countries have reached the hunger target of the first Millennium Development Goal, and 6 more are expected to get there in the next several months. The global hunger rate is 13.5 percent and could shrink to 12.8 percent by next year, according to the World Food Programme.

Although food access has increased in some parts of the world, areas in most need of hunger alleviation are in sub-Saharan Africa, where a quarter of the population is malnourished. In Asia, 526 million people, or about 12 percent of the population, are chronically hungry. Latin America and the Caribbean have seen the greatest improvements.

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