By the end of 2013, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations recognized 38 countries that were able to reduce by half the proportion of people suffering from hunger. The result meets the objective for the first U.N. Millennium Development Goal. In 2014, more nations continue to successfully reach the goal.

On 16 June 2014, the FAO recognized China, Morocco and Chile for their exceptional efforts in the fight against global hunger and for achieving the first U.N. Millennium Development Goal, bringing the total number of nations to 40.

China has made significant strides. In 1990 – 92, 272.1 million people suffered from hunger; today that number has been reduced to 158.0 million. The progress accomplished by the Chinese is even more remarkable when looking further back into the nation’s history. In 1979, more than one third of the people in China were hungry and that number has declined to less than 10 percent, which is lower than in the United States. And the country has moved from a recipient of aid to a major global aid donor.

Morocco was also congratulated and formally acknowledged by the FAO for its hunger reducing policies. Impressively, undernourishment in the country dropped from 6.7 percent in 1990-92 to under 5 percent in 2011-13.

The FAO recognized Chile as well. Chile had already achieved the first Millennium Development Goal in 2013. The FAO awarded Chile with a diploma for achieving the 1996 World Food Summit target, which is a more challenging goal to achieve. The 1996 target stipulates that a country decrease the number of hungry people by half in 2015 as compared to the level in 1990. Chile was able to attain this by decreasing undernourishment in the population from 9 percent in 1990-92 to less than 5 percent in 2011-13.

Of the first 38 countries that reached the U.N. goal in 2013, currently 18 have also achieved the World Food Summit target.

The success of these three nations and the other 37 countries demonstrates how governments across the world are taking effective steps to fight hunger and are achieving tangible results. While the task of eliminating hunger may appear daunting, the FAO emphasizes the fact that the goal can be accomplished and that these nations are models for achieving it.

During the ceremony, the FAO also recognized regional movements that have formed to meet the U.N. Zero Hunger Challenge, which seeks to completely eradicate hunger. The organization expressed its support for the 2025 Latin American and Caribbean Hunger-Free Initiative and the African Union’s endorsement of the zero hunger goal for 2025.

While these achievements are pivotal, the FAO continues to stress the need for a continued global effort to reduce hunger. Despite the progress made, more than 840 million people go hungry everyday.

In order to engage continued commitment to fighting hunger and specifically ending malnutrition, the FAO and the U.N. World Health Organization, WHO, are organizing a global governmental meeting, titled the Second International Conference on Nutrition, which is scheduled for November 2014.

-Kathleen Egan

Sources: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations,, Africa Top Success