Ethiopia, others meet MDG target on hunger

Addis Ababa, 10 December 2014 (WIC) – Some 13 Countries, including Ethiopia, have now reached the Millennium Development Goal I (MDG-1) hunger target, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

FAO said these 13 countries were recently awarded in recognition for their outstanding progress in fighting hunger, an achievement which includes reaching international targets ahead of the end-of-2015 deadline.

Ethiopia, Gambia, Brazil, Cameroon, Gabon, Iran, Kiribati, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, the Philippines and Uruguay are the latest in a growing list of countries to make great strides in combating undernourishment, the agency stated.

This includes the early achievement of the MDG-1 hunger target- to halve the proportion of hungry people by 2015 – or the more stringent 1996 World Food Summit (WFS) target of halving the absolute number of hungry people by 2015, it added.

During a ceremony at FAO headquarters, the Organization’s director-general, José Graziano da Silva, awarded diplomas to government representatives of the 13 countries.

“You have overcome major challenges in difficult global economic conditions and policy environments. You have demonstrated the will and mobilized the means,” Graziano da Silva said addressing the award recipients.

Progress in eradicating worldwide hunger over the next ten years “is gaining momentum”, but much more needs to be done – 805 million people still suffer from chronic undernourishment, the FAO director-general said, urging countries to accelerate progress.

To achieve this, there is a need to “improve the quality and efficiency of food systems, promote rural development, increase productivity, raise rural incomes, improve access to food, and strengthen social protection,” Graziano da Silva said.

“Among those who received diplomas on behalf of their countries were The Gambia’s vice president, Her Excellency Aja Dr Isatou Njie-Saidy, Brazil’s minister for Social Development and Fight Against Hunger, Tereza Campello, Cameroon’s minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Menye Essimi, Ethiopia’s minister of Agriculture Tefera Derbew, Gabon’s minister for Livestock, Fisheries and Food Security, Luc Oyoubi and Mauritania’s minister for Rural Development, Brahim Ould M’Bareck Ould Mohamed el Moctar.

“To date, 63 developing countries have reached the MDG target, and six more are on track to reach it by 2015. Of the 63 countries which have reached the MDG target, 25 have also achieved the more ambitious World Food Summit (WFS) target of halving the number of undernourished people by 2015,” it stated. (Observer)