One of the targets of the first Millennium Development Goal (MDG) is to reduce the proportion of people who suffer from hunger by half between 1990 and 2015, with hunger measured as the proportion of the population who are undernourished and the prevalence of children under five who are underweight. Many countries remain far from reaching this target, and much of the progress made has been eroded by the recent global food price and economic crises. As we enter the final five years to achieve the MDGs, we look upon one of the greatest challenges of our time with one billion people hungry, 129 million and 195 million children underweight and stunted respectively and more than 2 billion people deficient in micronutrients.
For the months of November and December, I worked on a report evaluating the global progress in reducing hunger by half, the first United Nations Millennium Development Goal. The report was commissioned by the World Food Programme to help inform countries on progress as we approach the 10 year mark for the MDGs. It was a laborious process but one of great learning. I hope it is helpful to others. If you want to read the report, just click here.
The graph below shows the number of children who are stunted, an indicator of chronic malnourishment. You can see most of the children are concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.