News / Science & Technology

    Report Calls for End to Hunger in a Generation

    An Assamese farmer carries crops on his shoulder in a paddy field near Gauhati, India in May 2010.An Assamese farmer carries crops on his shoulder in a paddy field near Gauhati, India in May 2010.
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    An Assamese farmer carries crops on his shoulder in a paddy field near Gauhati, India in May 2010.
    An Assamese farmer carries crops on his shoulder in a paddy field near Gauhati, India in May 2010.
    Ending hunger within a generation is achievable, and should be one of the goals in the next round of United Nations development targets, according to a new report by an anti-hunger advocacy group.

    Bread for the World is urging the United States to take the lead to end world hunger by 2040.

    "The world made more progress against poverty in the 2000s than in any other decade in human history," says David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World.

    Part of the credit for that progress, Beckmann says, should go to a set of goals agreed to by United Nations member countries at the turn of the millennium to improve basic living conditions worldwide by 2015.

    The Millennium Development Goals provided a way to hold governments accountable and to mobilize support for more effective global development.

    While most countries are reaching the goal of reducing extreme poverty, progress is lagging on the goal of cutting the number of hungry people in the world by half.

    But Beckmann says the international community is moving in the right direction. And with 2015 just around the corner, he says it's time to think about the next step.

    "That bullet [main] goal should be to get the job done," Beckmann says. "To end world hunger and extreme poverty within a generation. It's possible and it's very compelling."

    He credits U.S. President Barack Obama for launching initiatives in his first term aimed at boosting food security in developing countries.

    Beckmann says those initiatives are just getting started. Now that Mr. Obama has been re-elected, Beckmann says there is potential for significant progress.

    "If the president provides leadership, we could hit within the next three years...the millennium development goal for cutting hunger in half. And he would have put us on track for ending hunger in a generation."

    Steve Baragona

    Steve Baragona is an award-winning multimedia journalist covering science, environment and health.

    He spent eight years in molecular biology and infectious disease research before deciding that writing about science was more fun than doing it. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a master’s degree in journalism in 2002.

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    Comments
         
    by: Timur Tyncherov
    November 21, 2012 9:21 AM
    You claim the world made more progress against poverty in the 2000s than in any other decade in human history. What about the socialism era that had ended roughly by the beginning of the 21st century? To ignore the fact that socialist countries basically solved their food problem, and that was in the second half of the 20th century, would be blackening the achievements of socialism. Also, if you consider that not only socialist countries were ‘socialist’, but the whole world was more socialist, you would get an even brighter picture for the second half of the 20th century. Let’s not only show the seamy side of this great social system: even though it had many flaws in that wrong, let’s call it Russian, edition (with the permanent tsar-like leaders), ending hunger and extreme poverty was its strong point where it could really score. Maybe, the only strong point of that edition of socialism. If you claim to state the truth, the whole truth must be stated.
    I’m positive that if one did an unbiased comparison of the statistics, they would rather be in favor of, say, the 1970s in terms of cutting the number of hungry people than 2000s.

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