SVG can achieve zero undernourished persons – PM Gonsalves
June 14, 2013

SVG can achieve zero undernourished persons – PM Gonsalves

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has set a goal for St Vincent and the Grenadines to become the first country to register zero persons that are undernourished.{{more}}

Gonsalves made the announcement last Tuesday, at a ceremony to launch the 7th Basic Needs Trust Fund, at the Sunset Shores hotel at Villa.

The Prime Minister said he is going to put the challenge of SVG achieving zero undernourished persons to Jose Graziano da Silva, Director General of the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) when he visits Rome.

“That is not easy you know, that is the other part that we have to address,” Gonsalves said.

The Prime Minister left the state today for Rome, where he will be part of a ceremony which recognises this country and 17 others for reaching the Millennium Development Goal number one, to halve the proportion of hungry people between 1990 – 92 and 2010 – 2012, and for achieving the World Food Summit (WFS) goal of having reduced by half, the absolute number of undernourished people during that period.

The WFS goal was set in 1996, when 180 nations met at FAO headquarters to discuss ways to end hunger.

St Vincent and the Grenadines joins Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cuba, Djibouti, Georgia, Ghana, Guyana, Kuwait, Kyrgystan, Nicaragua, Peru, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Venezuela and Vietnam.

In 1990, just about 19 per cent or 21,000 Vincentians were undernourished the Prime Minister said.

The number had dropped to 11 per cent in 2002 and in the years following that, the number dropped further to 4.9 per cent.

Similarly, Gonsalves said that in 1996 to 1997, a study showed that 37.5 per cent of the population was living in poverty of which 27.5 were indigent poor.

In 2008, the number went down to two per cent he said.

An additional 20 countries received recognition for having satisfied the MDG one year ahead of the 2015 deadline which has been set.(DD)