‘Zero Hunger Challenge’ drive lauded


Children have lunch inside a monastery in Bago Division, Myanmar, February 19, 2014. Photo: Nyein Chan Naing/EPA

The World Food Programme has welcomed the Myanmar’s adoption of the Zero Hunger Challenge and its aim of achieving Zero Hunger in Myanmar by 2025, according to a press release from the United Nations Development Programme and World Food Programme on March 13.

The praise came after UNDP Administrator Helen Clark and WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin met with government officials in Nay Pyi Taw, and visited Sittwe in Rakhine State, on a two-day visit to Myanmar recently.

Ms Clark and Ms Cousin emphasized the importance of ensuring that humanitarian assistance is provided to all those who are in need, and that there is also strong support for development leading to inclusive and sustainable growth and improved living standards for all. They commended all partners who are providing assistance, including in challenging circumstances.

“Myanmar is in the midst of a number of a wide range of complex political, administrative, and economic reforms and peace building processes. There are many challenges, and the country has experienced both progress and setbacks in recent years”, Ms Clark said. “UNDP is committed to its work on strengthening governance and to working through its rights-based approaches to support the attainment of higher levels of human development for all in Myanmar.”

Addressing the issue of hunger, WFP’s Ms Cousin said: “The path to development runs through the achievement of zero hunger. WFP is committed to working with the government and our partner organizations starting with UNDP to support Myanmar’s transformational goal of reaching Middle Income Country status by 2030. An important prerequisite for achieving this goal requires successfully addressing the chronic malnourishment problem today which affects one in every three children under the age of five. WFP applauds the Government’s adoption of the Zero Hunger Challenge and its aim of achieving Zero Hunger in Myanmar by 2025.”

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