Nepal launches National Zero Hunger Challenge
Nepal launches National Zero Hunger Challenge to eradicate hunger by 2025
Kathmandu, Nepal, 19 December 2014 – The Government of Nepal, with the collaboration and support of the United Nations, today launched a national Zero Hunger Challenge, a major initiative to eradicate hunger in the Himalayan country by 2025.
The National Zero Hunger Challenge (NZHC) was launched today in the nation’s capital by Nepalese Prime MinisterSushil Koirala. Also participating in the launch was Hari Prasad Parajuli, the Minister of Agricultural Development, and ministers and representatives from Nepal’s Education, Health, Finance and Forestry Ministries.
The high-level event was attended by Gyan Chandra Acharya, UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States and Jamie McGoldrick, UN Resident Coordinated in Nepal. Hiroyuki Konuma, Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific, represented the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
During the launch, a roadmap was presented by the Government of Nepal for the formulation of a National Action Plan to meet the Zero Hunger Challenge in Nepal.
“The launch of the Nepal’s National Zero Hunger Challenge by the Government is a decisive move forward for Nepal as it works to eradicate hunger,” said Konuma. “FAO has pledged to work with the government and stakeholders as a committed partner and will provide whatever technical assistance is necessary to help the government’s initiative succeed in reaching its target of zero hunger.”
Achieving MDG hunger reduction goal is on track in Asia, but the Goal should be “Zero Hunger” to achieve “0” percent hunger.
During a presentation to launch participants, Konuma explained the latest estimates released by FAO, WFP and IFAD in September, which have found that while Asia has made good progress in reducing hunger by half by 2015 – a key target of the Millennium Development Goals – the region is still home to nearly two-thirds of the world’s 805 chronically undernourished people.
“While the world presently produces enough food for all, it is not evenly distributed and one in nine people, usually the most disadvantaged in our societies, goes to bed hungry each night,” said Konuma. “This is simply unacceptable and we will not turn our backs on this 12 percent of our population.”
“This is why determined action, like that taken today by the Government of Nepal is so critical,” Konuma added. “We can defeat hunger if we work together.”
The Zero Hunger Challenge was initiated at the global level by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in 2012. Timor-Leste and Myanmar have also launched national ZHCs.