Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

FAO and TABLE FOR TWO to fight hunger and poverty

Asia initiatives to focus on better nutrition and reduced hunger

Bangkok, Thailand, 30 Jan 2013 -- FAO and TABLE FOR TWO (TFT) International today announced the signing of a 3-year agreement aimed at jointly improving nutrition in Asia while reducing hunger in the region with the long term goal of building a world without hunger and poverty. The total number of people who suffer from chronic hunger in the Asia-Pacific region was 563 million in 2010-12, or 65 percent of the world total. Hunger in Asia declined from 23.7 percent to 13.9 percent during the same period largely because of socio-economic progress in many Asian countries.

TABLE FOR TWO was launched in Japan beginning in 2007. Its initiatives expanded rapidly around the world tackling both under and over nutrition. Nearly 1 billion people in the world suffer chronic hunger, while another 1 billion people over eat and suffer the consequences of overweight.

TFT’s unique "calorie transfer" programme is based on saving food and sharing with hungry people. The TFT programme gained considerable public support in Japan, USA and other countries as over 500 global companies signed on to support it . TFT  partners with private restaurants, corporate cafeterias, company canteens and university dining halls to serve healthy low-calorie food options. The reduced calories in the meals are monetized at a rate of about US$0.25 a meal and that money is donated to feed hungry people especially children in developing countries.
FAO and TFT plan to expand the programme throughout the Asia - Pacific region to fund FAO’s Telefood  projects as well as other suitable field initiatives that improve the nutritional status of undernourished people and school children in developing countries.

TFT has delivered more than 17 million school meals for 88 000 children in five African countries. The agreement with FAO has the potential to expand TABLE FOR TWO’s hunger reduction efforts to countries across Asia and the Pacific. TFT is already active in 11 countries.

Hiroyuki Konuma, Assistant Director-General, FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, and Masahisa Kogure, Executive Director, TABLE FOR TWO International signed the MoU last night at a ceremony in Bangkok, Thailand where FAO’s Regional Office for Asian and the Pacific are located. The MoU establishes the terms and conditions for joint action and cooperation to promote better nutrition for children in poor countries and to work for a world without hunger and poverty by encouraging a healthy diet sourced from sustainable agricultural production.

Under the agreement, the two organizations will  collaborate in areas of mutual interest, including improved nutrition for children in developing countries by implementing school gardening programmes and village-based projects to enhance the nutritional status of children and promote household food security and nutrition. They will also cooperate in the field of advocacy and communication to promote a comprehensive approach to food security and nutrition.

The Agreement says the two  organizations will develop a rolling plan of action that will outline specific areas of cooperation and activities for a period of three years and will organize a joint meeting within three months after today’s signing ceremony followed by an annual meeting.

Achieving food security for all is at the heart of FAO's efforts. The UN agency’s goal is to make sure people have regular access to enough nutritious food to lead active, healthy lives. FAO’s mandate is to raise nutrition levels, improve agricultural productivity, better the lives of rural populations and contribute to the growth of the world economy.