Thailand has been awarded by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations for successfully reducing the rate of hunger and malnutrition among residents by more than half.

Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives Petipong Pungbun Na Ayudhya stated that, during his participation in the 39th FAO Conference in Rome, Italy, he also took part in the award ceremony held for countries with achievements in the fight against hunger.

On behalf of Thailand, the minister was assigned by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to accept the special diploma at the ceremony.

The diploma recognizes Thailand as one of the countries having met or exceeded the Millennium Development Goal, which is aimed at halving the rate of hunger and malnutrition within the year 2015.

Economic Growth Halved Hunger in Asia Over 25 Years

Out of a total of 194 member countries of the FAO, 72 have so far been granted the award. Based on the statistics, the number of people suffering from hunger and malnutrition in Thailand has been slashed from 19.8 million back in 1990 to only 5 million this year while the proportion of the group has decreased from 34.6 percent of the entire population to 7.4 percent.

Southeast and East Asia have been the most successful parts of the region at reducing hunger, by 68.5 per cent and 58.5 percent respectively, with the greatest reductions since 1990 in Thailand (78.7 per cent), Vietnam (75.8 per cent), Indonesia (61.6 per cent) and China (60.9 per cent).

Mr Petipong attributed such an achievement to Thailand’s continuous implementation of development policies in the areas of food and agriculture, public health and education.

Economic growth helped the Asia-Pacific region to halve the proportion of those who have too little to eat to 12 per cent of its population over the past 25 years, meeting one of the UN Millennium Development Goals, UN officials said on Thursday.

North Korea is the one country in the region where hunger has increased, more than doubling to 10.5 million people from 4.8 million in 1990, it said.

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