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Latin America a World Leader in Fight Against Hunger

LADB Article ID: 79888
Category/Department: Region
Date: 2016-02-05
By: Johanna Marris

Latin America has become a world leader in the fight against hunger by successfully halving its undernourished population in the last 20 years. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the proportion of undernourished people in Latin America and the Caribbean fell from 14.7% in 1990–92 to 5.5% in 2014–16. This compares with 10.9% of the global population suffering from undernourishment. The absolute number of people suffering from hunger has also fallen, from 66 million to 34.3 million. This makes Latin America one of the few regions to meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for halving undernourishment in member countries between 1990 and 2015. Poverty also fell across the region during the same period, from 44% of the total population to 28%, with variation across sub-regions. The FAO defines undernourishment as the inability “to acquire enough food to meet the daily minimum dietary energy requirements, over a period of one year.” It defines hunger as chronic undernourishment. In the FAO’s 2015 Food Security Report published at the end of January, Raúl Benítez, regional representative for Latin America and the Caribbean at the FAO, attributed the region’s success to a high level of political commitment combined with macroeconomic growth over the last decade.

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