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'Bold Goals' Needed To Spur Political Action In Fight Against Hunger

“Achieving the first Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving the prevalence of hunger in the world by 2015 is still within reach, but a strong, sustained acceleration of efforts is needed,” U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva writes in a Reuters opinion piece. He notes a new report from the Rome food agencies shows the “global number of chronically hungry people has declined by 130 million since 1990, falling from a little over one billion people to 868 million — 852 million of them in developing countries.”

“In the present context of uncertain economic growth in addition to higher and more volatile food prices, reinvigorating broad-based economic growth will be crucial to making further progress towards the MDG hunger target,” da Silva writes, adding, “Improved governance — based on transparency, participation, accountability, rule of law and human rights — is also essential.” He continues, “Among other priorities, we must reduce the huge amount of food lost or wasted every year — estimated at around a third of total production!” In addition, the international community must “also start paying more attention not only to the quantity of food available to people, but also to its quality.” Da Silva concludes, “Bold goals are needed so that society as a whole can embrace this cause, supporting and pushing governments to transform political will into action on a broad enough scale to eradicate hunger” (10/9).