There has been some 'modest progress' towards eradicating global poverty the minister for International Development has said.
Alan Duncan was speaking at the launch of the 2012 Global Hunger Index. The project is supported by Concern Worldwide, International Food Policy Research Institute and Deutsche Welthungerlife.
The Minister added that 20 countries had levels of hunger which were alarming or extremely alarming, but other vulnerable countries including Somalia, Burma and the Democratic Republic of Congo are not included because there is not sufficient data.
Alan Duncan said these levels of malnutrition are: “quite simply unacceptable”, but he added that since 2008 the UK government has doubled its spending on tackling malnutrition.
He reflected on a recent visit to Yemen where a new programme is helping 1.6 million Yemeni women and children. A quarter of infants in Yemen are estimated to be malnourished. Similar programmes exist in Bangladesh and Zambia.
The recent Global Hunger Summit in Downing Street hosted by the Prime Minister enabled strong partnerships to be forged to tackle this global problem. The event was held on the last day on the Olympic Games and highlighted the amount of progress required by the 2016 Games in Rio.
Duncan noted extra measures that can be taken to help this crisis include supporting agriculture in developing countries to be more resilient and recover quicker from famines and droughts.
Reliable data is crucial to solving this crisis. Mr Duncan said: “Better information is needed on who is hungry, when, where and crucially, why.”
He concluded by saying “The UK government is committed to ending hunger and malnutrition and that organisations like Concern Worldwide have a vital role to play in helping us to achieve this goal.”