The heads of state of the world assembled in Rome in 1996 for the World Food Summit denounced hunger as intolerable and unacceptable, and pledged themselves to eradicate all forms of hunger.
CURRENT PROGRESS TOWARDS THE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS
SIGNS OF HOPE
51 countries, with 40 percent of the population of the world, are on track to achieving universal primary education by 2015 or have done so already.
Some 57 countries, with half of the population of the world, have halved the share of people living in hunger or are on track to do so by 2015.
Education: 24 countries are slipping back or far behind on the educational target, and 93 countries, with nearly 40 percent of the population of the world do not have data to make a judgment. Globally, one in every six children of primary school age is not in school.
Hunger Reduction: During the 1990s, the number of people living in hunger fell by just six million a year. If it continues at such a slow pace, it will take more than 130 years to rid the world of hunger.
Lack of data makes it hard to assess progress in halving poverty, but slow growth in many areas suggest that many will struggle to achieve the goal. The picture is especially bleak in Africa south of the Sahara Desert; as many as 23 of the 45 countries in this region are failing on more than half the targets.
Another 11 of these countries, such as Angola and Somalia, do not have data and are probably even further behind.
To reach the Millennium Goals, increasing aid from the wealthy nations, who are currently giving around 0.25 percent of their Gross National Product (GNP) in aid, is vital.
Rough estimates suggest that double this amount will be needed to meet the goals, well below the agreed on 0.7 percent of GNP. (The United States of America donates only 0.1% of its GNP.)
Developing countries need to be able to implement trade and financial policies designed in participatory and accountable processes. These countries also need more just trade rules: market access and fair prices for their crops and goods are essential.
"Progress must be made on a much broader front. Otherwise the ringing words of the Millennium Goals Declaration will only serve as grim reminders of the human needs neglected and promises unmet". UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. ID0870