New FAO statistics show mixed news on hunger
By Teresa Buerkle

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Almost 870 million people, or one in eight, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2010-2012, according to the new UN hunger report released today.

The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2012 (SOFI) presents better estimates of chronic undernourishment based on an improved methodology and data for the last two decades.

The vast majority of the hungry, 852 million, live in developing countries — around 15 percent of their population — while 16 million people are undernourished in developed countries.

The global number of hungry people declined by 132 million between 1990-92 and 2010-12, or from 18.6 percent to 12.5 percent of the world’s population, and from 23.2 percent to 14.9 percent in developing countries – putting the Millennium Development Goal target of reducing the proportion of people who suffer from hunger by half by 2015 within reach if adequate, appropriate actions are taken.

The number of hungry declined more sharply between 1990 and 2007 than previously believed. Since 2007-2008, however, global progress in reducing hunger has slowed and leveled off, according to the report.

Speaking at the launch of the report today in Rome, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva stressed that while the new numbers showed progress over the past 20 years:

“The only acceptable number for hunger is zero.”


Teresa Buerkle is Information Officer for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Washington, DC.

***Originally posted on the FAO Washington Blog.***

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