According to the 2015 State of Food Insecurity Report of the United Nations (UN), the Philippines is among the 72 developing countries which have reached the 2015 Millenium Development Goal (MDG) target—that is to reduce the proportion of hungry people by half.
As such, the country was recognized by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN for its outstanding progress in fighting hunger.
The Philippines is also among the 31 countries that have achieved its MDG 1c target, significantly bringing down the proportion of hungry Filipinos.
Also based on FAO data, the country was able to reduce the ratio of malnourished Pinoy from 26.3% (1990-1992) to 11.5% in 2012-14.
The entire sub-region of Southeast Asia showed a steady decline of undernourished people. According to the report, the sub-region was able to decrease to 60.5 million (2014-2016) or about 56% the number of hungry people from a whopping 137.5 million hungry in 1990-1992.
The distribution of hunger has also changed as the number of undernourished SouthEast Asians have also diminished by 6%, removing some 77 million people from the global statistics.
International food organizations such as the FAO, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) recognize that hunger remains an everyday challenge for almost 795 million people worldwide. Hence, all three organizations urge the commitment of decision makers to include hunger eradication in state policies and programs.
The paper further states that in times of conflicts and natural disasters, food insecurity and hunger loom even larger and so a stronger political will towards effective actions are required. There should also be a coordinated and complemented response from stakeholders.
In the Philippines, government programs pertaining to social protection have directly reduced hunger and malnutrition. These initiatives, while providing stable and decent employment to beneficiaries, have effected encouraging gains to both the local and national economy.
For example, after the onslaught of Typhoon Yolanda, the cash for work program of the national government has empowered beneficiaries who took part in rebuilding their communities and livelihood projects. Aside from earning income from various clearing operations, farmers and other agricultural stakeholders are given the opportunity to be part of worthy causes that ultimately ensure them of a more productive livelihood in the future. Jobs are created, food production is assured, farmers earn, and a stable supply of food is ascertained.
Thus, the government continues to craft policies towards inclusive and sustainable development, and attain food sufficiency goals amidst climate change and dynamic international markets.