FAO reports progress in eradicating hunger

But over 800 million still undernourished

One in nine people in the world are hungry. In sub-Saharan Africa one in four people suffers from hunger. And half the planet's 805 million hungry – or 526 million people – are concentrated in Asia.

These are the figures in the annual State of Food Insecurity in the World (SOFI 214) report published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Program (WFP), all of which have their headquarters in Rome.

This year the report, which was published on 16 September, is upbeat in some of its findings, confirming a positive trend in the decline of the number of hungry people in the world. The total is down 100 million over the last decade and 200 million less than in 1990-1992.

Most of the progress has been in the developing world, particularly in the Caribbean and in Latin America. Furthermore 63 countries have fulfilled the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of halving the proportion of their undernourished population, and another six countries are on the way to doing so by the 2015 deadline. 25 have also managed to halve the number of hungry, as well as the proportion – a goal set by the 1996 World Food Summit.

The report claims that it is still possible to halve the proportion of the world's undernourished people by the deadline of 2015.

It points out – not for the first time – that to achieve this goal an integrated international approach is needed. This must include public and private investment, access to land, technology, services and markets, as well as the need to strengthen resistance of the most vulnerable to natural disasters and conflict.

The 2014 report includes seven cases studies; Bolivia, Brazil, Haiti, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malawi and Yemen, one of the most food insecure countries in the world, according to the report.

The findings of the 2014 report will be be discussed at the October meeting of the Committee on World Food Security and the international conference on nutrition in November, both of them in Rome.