Vietnam was honoured by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) for its outstanding achievements in reducing hunger and poverty, at a special awards ceremony in Rome on June 16.

Vietnam was one of 38 countries to receive the praise of the organisation. It also received special recognition, along with 17 other nations, for reaching its Millennium Development Goal number one (MDG1) of halving the proportion of hungry people before 2015, and the more stringent World Food Summit (WFS) goal of halving the absolute number of undernourished people in the country.

Addressing the ceremony, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva called on all countries to maintain their efforts to eradicate global hunger and poverty, whether they have reached the MDG 1 or not.

Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Thi Xuan Thu declared that she highly valued the FAO’s recognition of Vietnam’s efforts to ensure food security. She thanked the organisation for its cooperation, technical support and aid in institution building, policy consultation and agricultural capacity development over the past 30 years.

According to the FAO, Vietnam has reduced the proportion of people suffered from hunger from 46.9 percent (equivalent to 32.16 million people) in the 1990-92 period, to 9 percent (8.01 million people) in the 2010-2012 period, successfully fulfilling the MDG 1.

Despite having recorded significant achievements in agricultural production, Vietnam is still facing food security challenges due to its booming population and shrinking farmland areas, Deputy Minister Thu stressed.

She added that climate change also poses great challenges to the country’s agricultural production and sustainable development and called for further support from the FAO and other international communities to help Vietnam maintain its sustainable agricultural development, boost green growth and improve people’s living conditions.

After the ceremony, the Vietnamese delegation participated in the 38 th FAO Conference, which will run until June 22.-VNA