Thirty-eight countries meet anti-hunger targets for 2015, says FAOListen /
Thirty-eight countries have met internationally-established targets in the fight against hunger, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The targets are part of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set by world leaders in 2000 to be achieved by 2015.
FAO says that 20 countries have satisfied the MDG number one to cut by half the proportion of hungry people.
It says their progress was measured between 1990 to 1992 and 2010 to 2012 against the benchmarks established at the UN General Assembly in 2000.
An additional 18 countries have reached both MDG 1 and the more stringent goal set at the World Food Summit of November 1996, by reducing by half the absolute number of undernourished people between 1990 to 92 and 2010 to 2012.
FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva says these countries "are proof that with strong political will, coordination and cooperation, it is possible to achieve rapid and lasting reductions in hunger."
However, he adds, although hunger has declined globally over the past decade, 870 million people are still undernourished and millions of others suffer the consequences of vitamin and mineral deficiencies, including child stunting.
Mr. Graziano da Silva urges all countries to keep up the momentum for the complete eradication of hunger, in keeping with the Zero Hunger Challenge launched in 2012 by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.