FAO hopes world hunger levels will halve by 2015
Hunger levels worldwide had decreased by 13% to just under 870 million people globally with the majority, 852 million, living in developing countries.
FAO director general José Graziano Da Silva, described the figures as good news but said there was still a lot do.
“We need to recognize this number is still too much, one in eight people are still hungry and this is unacceptable. We have lost speed in the last few years especially the total numbers started falling from 2007.
“Several factors can explain this, the most important one is the economic slowdown – loss of jobs and lower income – and high levels of food prices and food price volatility.”
He said Peru, Nicaragua and Brazil had made great strides reducing hunger levels in their countries by a third.
However, the picture was not so good in Sub-Saharan Africa where the number of hungry people over the last 20 years had increased by 38% to 234 million.
In the Near East and North Africa hunger levels have nearly doubled to 41 million which he said highlighted the link between hunger, food insecurity and conflict.
Asia and the Pacific has reduced hunger levels by 195 million over the last 20 years which he said explained the progress globally.
Da Silva said he was optimistic it would still be possible to hit the Millennium Development Goal target of halving worldwide hunger levels by 2015.
“We nonetheless appeal to the international community to make extra efforts to assist the poorest in realizing their basic human right to adequate food. The world has the knowledge and the means to eliminate all forms of food insecurity and malnutrition.”