Five more Asia-Pacific countries receive FAO awards for meeting and exceeding MDG hunger targets

mdg_graphic_600x4647/06/2015, Bangkok, Thailand – Five countries from Asia and the Pacific have received awards for their achievements in the fight against hunger, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization announced today.

The five – China, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Nepal and Solomon Islands – were among 15 countries worldwide to receive special diplomas from the FAO Director-General, José Graziano da Silva, at a special awards ceremony during the biennial FAO Conference in Rome, Italy. The awards were bestowed to senior figures from all 15 countries at a special ceremony for their achievements in meeting or exceeding the Millennium Development Goal (MDG-1c) which aimed to reduce the proportion of hunger by half by 2015. China and Myanmar were among seven countries recognized for additionally meeting or exceeding the World Food Summit target of reducing by half the absolute number of hungry.

“The awards to these countries of the Asia-Pacific region are another positive recognition of the success this region has had, in large part, in the fight against hunger,” said Hiroyuki Konuma, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific. “It shows that hunger can be beaten. The next target is zero and for many countries in this region they are already well on their way to that ultimate goal.”

Last month, FAO announced that the Asia and Pacific region, as a whole, had achieved the MDG-1c goal of reducing the proportion of hunger since 1990 by half – from 24 percent to 12 percent – by 2015, the deadline for the MDG targets. However it noted that progress had not been even across the region, with South Asia unable to meet the target while Eastern Asia and South-East Asia subregions had met the goal.

In 2014, three Asia-Pacific countries received FAO awards for reaching the MDG-1 target in fighting hunger – Kiribati, Malaysia, and the Philippines. In 2013, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia and Maldives were awarded for reducing the proportion of hunger by half. That same year, Samoa, Thailand and Viet Nam received diplomas for early achievement of both MDG-1c, reducing the proportion of hungry by half, and the more stringent World Food Summit (WFS) goal of halving the absolute number of hungry people by 2015.

In total, 72 countries worldwide have achieved the MDG-1 goal to reduce the proportion of hunger. Sixteen of them are in the Asia-Pacific region.