Fewer people are undernourished than anytime in the past 25 years as the rise of developing countries such as China and Brazil ushers in economic prosperity and improved food production.
There are 795 million hungry people in the world, down from 821 million from 2010 to 2012, according to a report released Wednesday by the United Nation’s Food & Agriculture Organization. That means around one in nine people are still underfed.
China dominated the fight against global hunger, accounting for about two thirds of the reduction in hungry people in developing regions in the past 25 years. Among major regions in the world, eastern and Southeast Asia reduced hunger by the most, according to the FAO report.
“Economic growth is central to the fight against hunger,” the FAO said. “Countries that become richer are less susceptible to food insecurity.”
Hungry people account for 10.9 percent of the global population, the report showed, down from 11.8 percent in 2010-12 and 18.6 percent in 1990-92.
China, Brazil, Vietnam and Thailand are among 29 countries that have reduced the number of underfed citizens by at least half since 1996. In India, poor and hungry people haven’t benefited as much as other nations from faster economic growth.
Natural disaster and civil strife have hurt progress. Twenty-four African countries currently face food crises, twice as many as 1990, the FAO said. Hunger is greatest in eastern and central Africa, with more than 30 percent of the population classified as undernourised.