Bloomberg News

UN’s Ban Announces ‘Zero Hunger Challenge’ to End Malnutrition

June 22, 2012

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced a “Zero Hunger Challenge” to rid the world of malnutrition.

Almost 1 billion people in the world don’t have enough to eat, Ban said in a video message to the Rio+20 summit in Rio de Janeiro yesterday, according to a transcript published by the UN. The UN chief, 68, said he wants to see an end to hunger “within my lifetime.”

“In a world of plenty, no one, not a single person, should go hungry,” Ban said. “I invite you all to join me in working for a future without hunger.”

Ending hunger would boost economic growth, reduce poverty and help protect the environment, as well as foster peace and stability, Ban said. The UN’s Food & Agriculture Organization estimates there are about 900 million hungry people, 13 percent of the world population.

“This is the first big idea on food to come out of the Rio+20 debacle,” Barbara Stocking, chief executive officer of hunger-fighting charity Oxfam, said in an e-mailed statement. “But it is in total contrast to the lack of any action in the summit conclusions.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at

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