Nigeria’s MDG-1 Achievement: FAO, WFP Corroborate Status

Jose Graziano da Silva

Jose Graziano da Silva

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations and the World Food Programme (WFP) have again confirmed the recognition that Nigeria has met the first of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) recently.

This was contained in a letter jointly signed by the FAO’s Director General, Jose Graziano da Silva and WFP Executive Director, Ertharin Cousin, on March 6, 2015, and directed to President Jonathan and the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina and received at the Ministry on March 24, 2015.

In respect of the MDG1, the letter noted that: “We have the honour to refer to the World Food Summit (WFS) held in Rome in November 1996, when representatives of 182 governments pledged “… to eradicate hunger in all countries, with an immediate view to reducing the number of undernourished people to half their present level no later than 2015.”

It traced the historical events that followed:  “Later, in 2000, 189 nations pledged to free people from multiple deprivations, recognising that every individual has the right to dignity, freedom, equality and a basic standard of living that includes freedom from hunger and violence.

This pledge transpired into the formulation of eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs were then made operational by setting targets and indicators to track progress made at the national and global levels toward reaching the goals by 2015.”

According to the letter, “the First MDG (MDG-1) includes three distinct targets: halving global poverty, achieving full and productive employment and decent work for all, cutting by half the proportion of people who suffer from hunger by 2015.

In light of FAO’s vision and mandate for a world free from hunger and malnutrition, the organisation has a pivotal role in both contributing and monitoring the WFS goal and the MDG hunger target.” Two years ago, Nigeria was given an award in recognition of its achievement of the MDG-1.

The letter emphasised that, “in June 2013, Nigeria was already awarded a diploma for having made very good progress in fighting hunger, and for having reached ahead of time the MDG Hunger target.

The result is confirmed by FAO’s most recent estimates: Nigeria has reduced the prevalence of undernourishment from 20.3 per cent in 1990-92 to seven per cent in 2014-16.” Year 2015 marks the end of the monitoring cycle of the MDG-1 and the WFS targets.

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