805 Million Still Suffering from Hunger: The 2014 State of Food Insecurity in the World

Image courtesy of FAO

United Nations2014 State of Food Insecurity in the World (SOFI 2014) Report confirmed that there are still 805 million people – more than half of whom are in Asia – suffering from chronic malnourishment.This report is published annually by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP). According to the report, one in nine people are severely undernourished; in Sub Saharan Africa the ratio is higher at more than one in four.

However, the report notes that there has been a decrease in the number of people suffering from chronic undernourishment by 200 million since 1992. Most progress has been made in Latin America and the Caribbean Islands, whereas Oceania has made only modest improvement. Overall, this indicates a positive trend in the fight against hunger.

This year’s report consists of case studies on the following seven countries: Bolivia, Brazil, Haiti, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malawi and Yemen. The case studies explain trends of food security based on internal efforts and external economic, political and environmental events.

The report states, “to date, 63 developing countries have reached the MDGs target for hunger, and six more are on track to reach it by 2015.” Halving the proportion of undernourished people by 2015 might be possible if measures are fueled up.

The complex nature of food insecurity requires a multi sectoral approach that engages CSOs, and public and private organizations. The report recommends an “enabling environment and an integrated approach.” Specifically, the following should leverage combined public and private investments:

  • agricultural productivity
  • access to land, services, technologies and markets
  • measures to promote rural development
  • social protection for the most vulnerable
  • strengthening resilience for conflicts and natural disasters.

Lastly, the report also stresses the fundamental importance of nutrition programs to address micronutrient deficiencies of mothers and children under five.

Further discussion will be held on the findings of the report by governments, civil society, and private sector representatives at the 13-18 October meetings of the Committee on World Food Security at FAO headquarters in Rome. The Hunger Project is among the organizations taking part in the meetings.

New Report 2014: Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation

report_unicefThe new report “Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation. Update 2014” from UNICEF and the World Health Organization “highlights a narrowing disparity in access to cleaner water and better sanitation between rural and urban areas.” Although some global progress was made “sharp geographic, socio-cultural, and economic inequalities in access to improved drinking water and sanitation facilities still persist around the world.” (Unicef, 2014)

The following tables present some of the findings relevant to the program countries of The Hunger Project.

  • 82% of the one billion people practising open defecation in the world live in 10 countries. Among these countries are India with 597 million people practising open defection, Ethiopia with 34 million, and Mozambique with 10 million.
  • Countries which could reduce open defection are Bangladesh, Benin, Ethiopia, and Peru. They belong to the 10 countries that have achieved the highest reduction of open defecation:
% of the population practising open defecation, 1990 % of the population practising open defecation, 2012 Percentage point reduction in practice of open defecation, 1990–2012
Ethiopia 92 37 55
Bangladesh 34 3 31
Peru 33 6 27
Benin 80 54 26
  • The following table shows the open defecation practices in Burkina Faso and Ethiopia according to level of education, and underlines significant disparities:
No Education, Preschool Primary Education Secondary Education Higher Education
Burkina Faso 76% 48% 14%
Ethiopia 54% 34% 15% 9%
  • The report’s findings on saniation and drinking water for all project countries with regard to the MDG targets read as follows (for a detailed breakdown see Annex 3):

Use of Sanitation Facilities

Progress towards MDG target Proportion of the 2012 population that gained access since 2000 (%)
Bangladesh not on track 19
Benin not on track 8
Bolivia not on track 16
Burkina Faso not on track 10
Ethiopia not on track 18
Ghana met target 35
India not on track 14
Malawi not on track 3
Mexico met target 21
Mozambique not on track 11
Peru on track 18
Senegal not on track 21
Uganda not on track 14

Use of Drinking Water Sources

Progress towards MDG target Proportion of the 2012 population that gained access since 2000 (%)
Bangladesh met target 20
Benin on track 30
Bolivia met target 24
Burkina Faso met target 40
Ethiopia on track 31
Ghana met target 35
India met target 25
Malawi met target 31
Mexico met traget 19
Mozambique not on track 19
Peru on track 17
Senegal progress insufficient 26
Uganda met target 37

To read the full report and see the findings click here.

Progress on Millennium Development Goal #1 (Eradicating Extreme Poverty and Hunger)


Photo Credit: UN.ORG

In 2000, leaders from 189 nations setup the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to eradicate extreme  poverty and hunger, to achieve universal primary education, to promote gender equality and empower women, to reduce child mortality, to improve maternal health, to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, to ensure environmental sustainability and to develop a global partnership for development. (UN Millennium Project, 2014).

Millennium Development Goal # 1 Targets and Progress (Adopted from the UN.ORG/MDGs)


Target 1.A: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than $1.25 a day

  • The target of reducing extreme poverty rates by half was met five years ahead of the 2015 deadline.

  • The global poverty rate at $1.25 a day fell in 2010 to less than half the 1990 rate. 700 million fewer people lived in conditions of extreme poverty in 2010 than in 1990. However, at the global level 1.2 billion people are still living in extreme poverty.

Target 1.B: Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people

  • Globally, 384 million workers lived below the $1.25 a day poverty line in 2011—a reduction of 294 million since 2001.

  • The gender gap in employment persists, with a 24.8 percentage point difference between men and women in the employment-to-population ratio in 2012.

Target 1.C: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger

  • The hunger reduction target is within reach by 2015.

  • Globally, about 870 million people are estimated to be undernourished.

  • More than 100 million children under age five are still undernourished and underweight.

For more on 2013 MDGs Report Click here: http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/poverty.shtml

According to FAO (2013), 38 countries met anti-hunger targets for 2015. The 38 countries were honored on June 16, 2013 during the FAO Conference in Italy. According to FAO report, 20 countries have achieved MDG number 1. These were:  Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Brazil, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chile, Dominican Republic, Fiji, Honduras, Indonesia, Jordan, Malawi, Maldives, Niger, Nigeria, Panama, Togo and Uruguay. An additional 18 countries reached both MDG 1 and the WFS goals. These countries were: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cuba, Djibouti, Georgia, Ghana, Guyana, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Nicaragua, Peru, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) and Viet Nam. (FAO, 2013).

Countries who achieved MDG number # 1 in Green and Countries who achieved both MDG#1 and WFS goals in Yellow

AlgeriaAzerbaijanArmeniaAngolaBangladeshBeninBrazilCambodiaChileCameroonCubaDjiboutiDominican RepublicFijiGeorgiaGhanaGuyanaHondurasIndonesiaJordanKyrgyzstanKuwaitMalawiMaldivesNigerNigeriaNicaraguaPeruPanamaThailandTogoSao Tome and PrincipeTurkmenistanUruguaySaint Vincent and the GrenadinesVenezuelaVietnamSamoa

For more on the 2013 FAO Report click here: http://www.fao.org/docrep/018/i3434e/i3434e00.htm


FAO. (2013). The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2013. Retrieved on Feb 3, 2014 from http://www.fao.org/docrep/018/i3434e/i3434e00.htm

World Bank. (2014). Global Monitoring Report 2013: Sub-Saharan Africa

Rural-Urban Dynamics and the Millennium Development Goals. Retrieved on January 31, 2014 from http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTPROSPECTS/Resources/334934-1327948020811/8401693-1355753354515/8980448-1366122085455/SSA_RegionalBrief_GMR2013_Eng.pdf

World Bank. (2014). Report Card: The Millennium Development Goals, 2013. Retrieved on January 31, 2014 from http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTPROSPECTS/Resources/334934-1327948020811/8401693-1355753354515/8980448-1366123749799/GMR_2013_Report_Card.pdf

UN. (2014). The Millennium Development Goals Report 2013. Retrieved on January 31, 2014 from http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/pdf/report-2013/mdg-report-2013-english.pdf