Where things stand with the UN Millennium Development Goals

Almost a decade ago, world leaders agreed in New York to the UN Millennium Development Goals, calling among other targets for a halving between 1990 and 2015 in the proportion of people who suffer from hunger.

Jacques Diouf, FAO director-general, said in a foreword for a new FAO report that the task of achieving the UN’s hunger reduction targets in the remaining several years to 2015 will “require an enormous and resolute global effort and concrete actions”.

However, with leaders’ attention firmly focused on the global financial crisis and its economic ramifications, many observers now believe that the hunger and poverty reduction targets are no longer achievable by 2015.

The vast majority of the world’s undernourished people – more than 90m – live in developing countries, according to FAO estimates. Of these, 65 per cent live in only seven countries: India, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and Ethiopia.

In sub-Saharan Africa, one in three people – or almost 240m – are chronically hungry, the highest proportion of undernourished people in the total population.

[The Financial Times]

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