Must do better to halt malnutrition
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CTA. 2005. Must do better to halt malnutrition. Spore 117. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
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The 2004 edition of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization s State of Food Insecurity in the World sets out to monitor progress towards the goal laid down by the 1996 World Food Summit that of halving the number of hungry people on the
The 2004 edition of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization s State of Food Insecurity in the World sets out to monitor progress towards the goal laid down by the 1996 World Food Summit that of halving the number of hungry people on the planet between now and 2015. Given that the number of people suffering from chronic hunger has only been reduced by 9 million since 1992, the objective of cutting the total from 800 to 400 million is clearly still a long way off. There can only be one conclusion: we must do better. The report does its best to show that this is indeed possible. It offers the example of 30 countries together accounting for almost half the total population of the developing world) where malnutrition rates are falling. Sub-Saharan Africa is the region where the greatest number of countries have managed to reduce levels of malnutrition by more than 25%. Their strategies vary considerably, and the very diversity of these approaches is itself a determining factor. For example, polyculture on the one hand, and the use of local knowledge on the other can enable the problem of hunger to be tackled simultaneously on several fronts. Improvements in other areas, such as education and literacy rates, can also play an important role in the struggle. For although neither is directly related to food production, both are fundamental, since improving standards of living depends partly on the extent of peoples knowledge. Most important of all, claims the report, is the relationship between food insecurity and local armed conflicts. Levels of malnutrition will begin to fall when such civil strife ends, for fighting does not simply cause food emergencies it also engenders a state of widespread chronic hunger. State of Food Insecurity in the World 2004: Monitoring progress towards the World Food Summit and Millennium Development Goals FAO, 2004 ISBN 92 5 105178 X £15 12 FAO Sales and Marketing Group Viale delle Terme di Caracalla 00100 Rome Italy Fax: +39 06 5705 3360 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Downloadable from: www.fao.org/documents/show_cdr.asp?url_file=/docrep/007/y5650e/y5650e00.htm
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