Fighting Hunger - The Ingredients of Success

"True success in fighting hunger and malnutrition will only be possible when we finally determine to no longer accept the unacceptable or tolerate the intolerable"

Event objective:

Lessons can be learned from the experiences of successful countries. Ministers from a number of countries in developing and countries-in-transition regions will share with others what they believe are the factors which contributed to their success in reducing hunger. Their experience will give hope and inspiration to others who aspire to emulate their success.


Chair: Minister (to be announced)
Opening Address
: Head of State or Government (to be announced)
Keynote Addresses (invited):

  • Dr. Norman Borlaug, 1970 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
  • Professor M.S. Swaminathan, UNESCO Cousteau Chair in Ecotechnology and Chair of M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation

Presentations: Ministers of countries that have successfully reduced the number of hungry
General Discussion: plenary
Summary of Conclusions: Dr. Hartwig de Haen, Assistant Director-General, Economic and Social Department, FAO

Monitoring performance in reducing hunger

FAO is charged with monitoring the performance of countries of the target of reducing by half, by 2015, the number of persons in the world who suffer from undernourishment. The findings are reported in The State of Food Insecurity in the World(SOFI).

SOFI shows the comparative performance of countries in reducing the incidence of hunger. It then looks in detail at some individual cases to try to identify the factors contributing to success or failure. Many of the least successful countries are afflicted by conflict or political instability or are the victims of natural disasters. But there still remains a large gap in performance amongst those countries that are free from man-made and natural disasters.

Ingredients of Success

Of course, a deliberate political commitment to reduce hunger is a precondition for success. Experience shows that the most successful countries have a number of factors in common:

  • Political stability, an enabling social and economic environment, and people's participation
  • Significant and sustainable economic growth
  • High priority in policies and resource allocations to agriculture and rural development
  • Balance between investment in development and expenditure on social safety nets that ensure access to adequate food, education and health
  • Constructive engagement of donors with recipients taking ownership of the development process.


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FAO, 2002