African Countries Tops List Of Nations Eradicating Hunger

African Countries Tops List Of Nations Eradicating Hunger
Africa has the world’s largest amount of unused agricultural land

AFRICANGLOBE – The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has honoured 13 countries that have made the most significant strides in fighting hunger in recent years. These countries, six of which are African, include Brazil, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Gabon, the Gambia, Iran, Kiribati, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, the Philippines and Uruguay.

Their accomplishments include hitting international targets ahead of the end-of-2015 deadline including the early achievement of the Millennium Development Goal 1 (MDG-1) hunger target – to halve the proportion of hungry people by 2015 – or the more rigorous 1996 World Food Summit (WFS) target of halving the absolute number of hungry people by 2015.

José Graziano da Silva, the Organization’s Director-General, awarded diplomas to government representatives of the 13 countries during a ceremony at FAO headquarters saying; “You have overcome major challenges in difficult global economic conditions and policy environments. You have demonstrated the will and mobilized the means.”

Going forward, he added; “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. 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.

With this new addition, the world now has 63 developing countries that have reached the MDG target, and 6 more are on track to reach it by 2015. Of the 63 countries which have reached the MDG target, 25 have also achieved the World Food Summit (WFS) target of halving the number of undernourished people by 2015.

There are critical success factors that drive success in the fight against hunger and these have been identified by the UN State of Food Insecurity in the World 2014 (SOFI 2014) report. A key driver is the ability of each country to transform political commitment into effective action, and countries like Brazil which were successful in this regard will continue to see lesser hunger rates.

According to the report, Brazil put the goal to combat undernourishment at the center of its political agenda with the launch of the Zero Hunger Programme in 2003. Driving the program entailed introducing social protection measures such as cash transfers for the poor and national school meals, combined with innovative programmes for family farming. These moves translated into job creation, higher wages and, consequently, significant decreases in hunger and inequality.

In other countries, including Ethiopia, Gabon, the Gambia, Mauritania, Mauritius, and the Philippines, the achievement of the goals was directly linked to economic growth and the policies enacted by their respective governments over the last two decades. In some of these nations, agricultural interventions have been complemented by social protection programmes aimed at providing immediate relief to vulnerable population groups.

These clearly demonstrates the absolutely pivotal role of governments and accompanying policies in boosting the socio-economic wellbeing of developing regions. Additionally, it shows how much progress people can make when they work in concert to tackle any challenge.


By: Emmanuel Iruobe