Zero Hunger Challenge Campaign
The world produces sufficient food to meet the need of everyone. Yet, despite of our efforts, progress in eradicating hunger has been very slow. The world is still a home of 868 million chronically hunger people. One in every eight people on the planet suffer from hunger, and one in every three children in developing world are stunted.
Asia and the Pacific Region continues to share the highest proportion of 62 percent of the world total. Indeed, nearly two-thirds of the total chronically hunger population live in this Region. The vast majority of them live in developing countries and they became increasingly vulnerable to food price hike and external shocks.
In addition, micronutrient malnutrition, or so-called “hidden hunger” is also affecting additional two billion people worldwide with serious public health problems, especially children in developing countries.
FAO estimates that the world has to increase food production by 60 percent or by 77 percent in developing countries alone by the year 2050 to meet the needs of increasing population. This has to be achieved from limited available arable lands which have a very little potential for future expansion and declining water resources.
In addition, there are number of critical challenges which need to be addressed such as decline in agricultural investment, stagnation of agricultural productivity growth, high post-harvest losses and food waste, negative impacts of climate changes and natural disasters, and increasing competition between food production and bio-energy production.
Today, we gather here to reaffirm our commitment to meet the challenges. There is no alternative, rather than moving forward to achieving the goal of hunger-free world, to ensure the fundamental human right for everyone, and world peace and stability.
Our history shows that Asia and the Pacific Region has successfully reduced the proportion of hunger from 34 percent in 1970 to 17 percent in 2000 through the Green Revolution. I believe that the MDG Goal No.1 hunger target in halving the proportion of extreme hunger by 2015 and the Zero Hunger Goal in eradicating hunger in our lifetime would be achievable, if we harness our wisdom and learn from past lessons, ensure inclusiveness and sustainability, mobilize strong political commitments, and double our efforts and work together as a team for concerted efforts.
It is not a dream. It is our obligation for our children. Let us work together.
FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative
Bangkok, 29 April 2013