The United Nations has honored 38 countries that have reached targets for halving hunger, including Brazil, Chile, Nigeria, Thailand, and Viet Nam as a 2015 deadline nears for meeting key international goals in the fight against global hunger.
At a ceremony in Rome attended by several heads of State on Wednesday, the head of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization handed out diplomas marking the achievements.
Among national leaders was Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Moros. On hand were also the leaders of Benin, Georgia, Honduras, Panama, Guyana, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, and São Tomé and Príncipe.
"To each and every one of you, I want to say that you are living proof that when societies decide to put an end to hunger, and when there is political commitment from governments, we can transform that will into concrete action and results," FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said.
"FAO is proud to work with all our member nations, developed and developing, to reach our common vision of a hunger-free and sustainable world," he added.
The nations involved were split into two groups.
One group reached two targets including Millennium Development Goal 1 (MDG1) – to halve the proportion of hungry people by 2015 – and the more stringent World Food Summit (WFS) goal of halving the absolute number of hungry people by 2015.
The second group reached the MDG 1 target only.
U.S. development and relief agency Church World Service welcomed the announcement.
The organization is working in seven countries that met the MDG1 goals, including Cambodia, Dominican Republic, Georgia, Honduras, Indonesia, Nicaragua and Vietnam.
Three of those nations - Georgia, Nicaragua and Vietnam - also reached the WFS goals.
"We are heartened today by the progress that these countries have made in ending hunger," said CWS president and chief executive officer the Rev. John McCullough in a statement this week.
"We are particularly happy that seven countries in which CWS and its local partners have been supporting successful, sustainable food and nutrition security and interrelated development programs are among those countries that have reached the goals."
Nations meeting MDG1 targets include: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cuba, Djibouti, Georgia, Ghana, Guyana, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Nicaragua, Peru, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, São Tomé and Príncipe, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Venezuela and Viet Nam.
Nations meeting MDG1 and WFS targets are: Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Brazil, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chile, Dominican Republic, Fiji, Honduras, Indonesia, Jordan, Malawi, Maldives, Niger, Nigeria, Panama, Togo and Uruguay.
Hunger levels for both groups were measured between 1990-92 and 2010-2012.
Eight other nations were identified as being set to reach the MDG 1 hunger target by 2015: the Bahamas, Chad, China, Ethiopia, Gabon, Rwanda, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.