ActionAid: The Real Score on Realizing Hunger MDG

    Due to increasing food prices, many in In Afghanistan, like this man, cannot afford regular daily meals. Photo by: Manoocher Deghati/IRIN

    Without China’s gains in alleviating hunger, global hunger rate has risen to “exactly” the same level as it was in 1990, a report by ActionAid reveals.

    This implies that 500 million more people are chronically malnourished than if the Millennium Development Goal on hunger had been attained.

    Hunger could be costing developing nations some USD450 billion annually, or more than 10 times the money needed to halve hunger by 2015, according to the report, which was released in the run-up to the MDG summit later this month.

    “Fighting hunger now will be ten times cheaper than ignoring it. Every year reduced worker productivity, poor health and lost education costs poor countries billions,” Joanna Kerr, ActionAid’s chief executive officer, said in a press release. “And the cost is not just financial. If governments don’t act now over a million more children could die by 2015 and half of Africa won’t have enough food in ten years.”

    The report notes that 20 out of 28 poor countries are off-course in achieving the MDG on hunger, and 12 of these nations are reversing their gains.

    The Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Sierra Leone, Pakistan and Lesotho are most off-track in slashing hunger rates. India, despite an increase in its economic power, is also lagging in combating hunger. Meanwhile, Brazil, China, Ghana, Malawi and Vietnam charted the biggest gains in the fight against hunger, the report says.

    The United Nations’ MDG Report 2010, released in June, says the fight against hunger has been stymied by the recent food and financial crises.

    >> Uneven Progress Toward MDGs, UN Report Shows

    To realize the MDG on hunger, ActionAid recommends that world leaders convening in the MDG summit:

    - Support agricultural investments through national plans that focus on poor farmers, particularly women, and social protection programs.

    - Address climate change by committing to reduce at least 40 percent of emissions, particularly of rich nations, by 2020, and meet the needed USD200 billion in climate financing for poor countries.

    - Eliminate targets and subsidies for biofuel production.

    Devex News – live breaking news coverage of the Millennium Development Goals and the Sept. 20-22 U.N. MDG summit in New York.

    About the author

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      Ma. Rizza Leonzon

      As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.