Moving towards Zero Hunger by 2025. Asia-Pacific gearing up for food security for all

20/11/2013 - 

Bangkok, 18 Nov 2013 -While undernourishment in Asia dropped from 24 to 14 percent over the past three decades, concerted efforts aim to eradicate hunger and achieve Zero Hunger by 2025. Some 40 representatives from civil society, development partners and UN agencies are reviewing a draft Asia-Pacific guiding framework to achieve the UN’s Zero Hunger Challenge by 2025.

The absolute number of hungry people in Asia-Pacific remains unacceptably high and casts a shadow on food security and malnutrition as well as sustainability and feeding future generations, FAO said today.

Concrete and immediate joint actions are urgently needed to achieve the UN Secretary-General’s Zero Hunger ChallenGe.

FAO’s regional chief, Hiroyuki Konuma, elaborated on three global concerns: “hidden hunger” or micronutrient malnutrition affecting 2 billion people with serious public health consequences; over-nutrition with 1.4 billion people overweight; and massive food losses and waste, estimated at over 30 percent of food production.

ESCAP’s statement stressed that peace and security largely depend on meeting the basic human right to food.

“The existence of hunger and malnutrition is a manifestation of the breakdown of the social contract. This is a root cause of migration, human trafficking and other social upheavals,” said Amisuzzaman Chowdhury, director of ESCAP’s macroeconomic policy and development division.

Multi-stakeholder efforts

Led by the UN Regional Thematic Working Group on Poverty and Hunger – chaired by FAO and co-chaired by ESCAP and UNDP – a half day multi-stakeholders consultation was held in Bangkok today.

The meeting reviewed a draft regional guiding framework outlining sets of outcomes and outputs to be achieved at national level to reach the Zero Hunger goal in Asia-Pacific.

“Today’s work will be presented at the sidelines of the 17 to 20 December 2013 ministerial level meeting on economic integration convened by ESCAP,” said Mr Konuma, “and guiding future steps for implementing the Zero Hunger Challenge by countries in the region.”

The consultation is attended by some 40 participants, representing civil society constituencies (fishers, farmers, consumers, landless, rural workers, pastoralists, women, youth, urban poor, human rights/right to food), non-governmental organizations and networks, and key development partners, academics and UN organizations.

Submitted by: Naoki Minamiguchi
Country: Thailand