The number of hungry people in the world has fallen by more than 100 million in the past decade but 805 million people, or one in nine, still do not have enough to eat, three global food and agriculture agencies said on Tuesday.
Government drives to improve nutrition have helped put the developing world on track to meet a United Nations goal to halve the proportion of people suffering from hunger between 1990 and 2015, the U.N. food agency, International Fund for Agricultural Development, and World Food Program said.
"A stock-taking of where we stand on reducing hunger and malnutrition shows that progress in hunger reduction at the global level has continued but that food insecurity is still a challenge to be conquered," they said in their report "The State of Food Insecurity in the World".
Substantial progress in food supply in countries like Brazil improves overall figures and masks the struggles of countries like Haiti, where the number of hungry people increased from 4.4 million in 1990-92 to 5.3 million in 2012-14, the report said.
Countries including Brazil and Indonesia have already achieved the development goal by halving the undernourished proportion of their populations, through investments and policymaking in areas from agriculture to school meals.
But the report called for more effort elsewhere, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern and Western Asia, to reduce the hungry share of the population in developing countries to 11.7 percent, from 13.5 percent today, by the end of 2015.
A more ambitious goal to halve the absolute number of chronically undernourished people by 2015 has been met by 25 developing countries since 1990, but there has not been enough time for the whole world to achieve this, the report said.