Skip to main content

This content from the Department of Foreign Affairs has moved to

Acting together, acting now: Delivering Zero Hunger

Agriculture, Hunger, Poverty, News/feature, Africa, Global, 2014
Zero Hunger Challenge News Image

A world without hunger. Can you picture it? In one generation, we believe hunger can be eradicated.

The truth is, steady progress is being made in the fight against hunger. The numbers prove it: the latest State of Food Insecurity report, released last Tuesday, shows that reductions in global hunger are continuing – down more than 100 million in the last decade, and 209 million since 1990-92. Since that date, 63 countries have reached the hunger target of the Millennium Development Goals, , to halve the proportion of chronically undernourished people in developing countries by 2015. In fact, the prevalence of undernourishment has fallen in developing countries in the last decade to just over 13 percent – and to 11.3 percent globally. 

Achieving zero hunger is within reach, if appropriate actions are taken and political commitment is scaled up. Despite the success we have seen, 805 million people remain chronically undernourished. But to eliminate hunger, we need to go even further. We cannot leave anyone behind.

In our world of plenty, nobody should go hungry; yet one in nine people suffer from hunger every day. That number is unacceptable, and it’s up to all of us to change it.
That’s why Ireland, the Netherlands, Mexico and three food-based UN agencies are co-hosting an event in New York this week to galvanise support for the UN Secretary-General’s Zero Hunger Challenge. The Zero Hunger Challenge aims to eliminate hunger in our lifetimes.

The Delivering Zero Hunger – Demonstrating Impact high level event will be co-hosted by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland Charles Flanagan, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Mark Rutte and Secretary of Social Development of Mexico Rosario Robles Berlanga, as well as the principals from three food-based UN organizations, Director-General of FAO José Graziano da Silva, President of IFAD Dr. Kanayo F. Nwanze and Executive Director of WFP Ertharin Cousin. It will bring global leaders together for the first time since Davos to showcase their own work, and challenge others to join the fight.

Ireland will continue to do our part. As a country with historic experience of famine, combating hunger has long been at the forefront of Ireland’s development policy, which is an integral part of Ireland’s wider foreign policy. Three areas in particular are prioritised: helping poor smallholder, and women, farmers in Africa to increase their agricultural productivity; targeting under-nutrition in mothers and children; and promoting governance and leadership action to reduce global hunger and under-nutrition at both national and international level. To learn more about our work to tackle global hunger, read Ireland’s report under under the EU Food & Nutrition Security Implementation Plan.

The end of hunger is within reach, but only if we act together – and act now. This week at General Assembly, people will be talking about the many aspects of the future we’re facing, including a changing climate, rising population, conflict and strains on resources. But they’ll also be talking about the future we want – and that means a future with Zero Hunger. We believe that an end to hunger is possible, and it is everybody’s responsibility to help see that vision become a reality.
As Nelson Mandela himself said, “It always seems impossible until it is done.”

Zero Hunger Challenge

For more information visit the Zero Hunger Challenge website.