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Asia-Pacific countries take Zero Hunger Challenge by the horns

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16 Apr 2014

The mission for an end to hunger in the world’s most populous region has received a boost, with member countries responding positively to a call by FAO for a “massive effort” to end hunger in Asia and the Pacific.

1. Asia-Pacific is home to nearly two-thirds of the world’s chronically hungry people.

|True|     Asia-Pacific, with over 4.2 billion people, is home to nearly 60 percent of the world’s population. It is a diverse region, with seven of the world’s ten most populous countries, and also some of the world’s smallest island nations in the Pacific.

2. Thailand and Viet Nam have reduced the proportion of hungry people in their countries by 20 percent.

|False|    In fact, these two countries have seen great results in reducing the proportion of hungry people by over 80 percent. They implemented agriculture-led, social protection-led, and/or nutrition intervention-led strategies and reaped the benefits.

3. For Asia as a whole, the proportion of hunger has fallen in the last 20 years.

|True|     The proportion of hunger in Asia has fallen from 24.1 percent in 1990-92 to 13.5 percent in 2011-13.  The prevalence of  undernourishment is lower in Western Asia than in other  parts of the region but has risen steadily since 1990–92.

4. Timor-Leste is looking to join the Zero Hunger Challenge in summer 2014.

|False|    Timor-Leste, Asia-Pacific’s youngest country, was the first country to launch UN’s Zero Hunger Challenge in January 2014. Following the launch of the ZHC, a National Action Plan is now being prepared through multi-stakeholder consultations under the leadership of the Prime Minister.

5. In Asia nearly half of the children suffer from anemia.

|True|     Excluding Japan, over 30 percent of the children have vitamin A deficiency and nearly half suffer from anemia.  And in the Pacific Islands, excluding Australia and New Zealand, over 20 percent of the adult population are considered obese. The Zero Hunger Challenge eyes ending all forms of malnutrition. Worldwide, about two billion people suffer from micronutrient and vitamin deficiencies, and obesity, which are related to unhealthy eating habits. 

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