Your Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen. Since the launch of the Millennium Development Goals, we have seen significant development advances. There have been big successes. Part of the first MDG goal—the poverty target—was achieved five years ahead of the 2015 deadline. Efforts to halve hunger, however, have not been as successful.
Almost 870 million women, men and children are denied access to their food and nutrition needs. Many live in crisis-prone places. In WFP, we serve the most vulnerable of these people. Yet we only reach a fraction of those in need. And, as a result we know that many more are denied access to the most basic human entitlement of all—the promise of a healthy, active life.
In WFP, we believe that we are at a turning point. Through collective action we can transform this persistent crisis. The foundations for this collective action are in place. Strong alliances have been built between civil society, business and government, through the Scaling Up Nutrition movement and other international efforts. Science and technology breakthroughs have provided better answers, tools and measurement of the problems that we face. Combine the benefits together, we can crystalize the solutions that help us save lives and ultimately allow people to realize their full potential.
We now have an unprecedented opportunity to eliminate hunger and malnutrition. By committing to the Zero Hunger Challenge to solve the problem of hunger and stunting, we can build opportunities for the next generation, boost economic growth and build a stronger more prosperous world. We must take up this challenge and we must ensure that food and nutrition security is prioritized in our follow-up to 2015.
Let us take away the burden and give people the possibility to realize their full potential.