Latest Stories

Asian countries urged to set up ‘hunger fund’


The image of President Benigno Aquino III is shown on a giant screen as he delivers his message during the opening session of the 45th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of Asian Development Bank Friday at the Philippine International Convention Centers in Pasay City. AP

MANILA, Philippines—The Asian Development Bank called on member countries, including the Philippines, to each set up a “hunger alleviation fund” as poor Asians continue to go hungry despite dynamic growth in the region.

In a report titled “Food Security and Poverty in Asia and the Pacific,” ADB said governments must provide well-targeted safety nets to protect and feed the poor.

The report came out just as the Social Weather Stations released the results of its latest poll, which showed that more Filipino families considered themselves poor in terms of the type of food they eat.

Asia is still home to two-thirds of the world’s poor and more than three-fifths of the world’s underfed, chief economist Changyong Rhee said in a foreword to the ADB report.

“Progress in food security has been nearly stagnant since the mid-1990s and the absolute number of undernourished people in the region has increased as a result of rapid population growth,” Rhee said.

The report, which was released Friday, said  governments must find ways to reduce food waste and storage losses and encourage rural development.

Xianbin Yao, director general of ADB’s Pacific department, said in a briefing that, with the global population now exceeding seven billion, food security and the rise in food prices should be “something to be concerned about.”

Based on ADB estimates, 112 million people in Asia could have escaped poverty each year had prices not increased during the 2007-2008 food crisis, Yao added.

The ADB report proposed that a hunger alleviation fund amounting to one percent of a country’s gross domestic product be used when food prices grow beyond the reach of the poor.

“The funds could be jointly managed with the private sector, with companies encouraged to contribute using incentives such as tax breaks,” the report added. “Targeted subsidies would deliver help to those who need it most.”

Also, Yao called for a new growth paradigm that would focus on support for the agriculture sector to generate more income opportunities in rural areas.

He said rural development is critical in addressing hunger and, as with the Green Revolution of the 1970s, agricultural research focusing on biotechnology should be harnessed as a key tool in improving food security and reducing poverty.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: ADB , Asia , Asian Development Bank , Hunger , Poverty

  • Topioquin

    Hunger is all about the grasshopper and the ants.

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Avalanche sweeps Everest; 6 killed, 9 missing
  • Captain not at helm of capsized Korean ferry–probers
  • 4.9 quake jolts Batanes on Maundy Thursday
  • Presidents, celebrities mourn writer Garcia Marquez
  • MH370 search to be most costly ever at $100 million — analysts
  • Sports

  • Heat seek Three-peat but Spurs, Pacers top seeds
  • Can Spurs get back at Heat? Can they survive West?
  • Hopkins, 49, seeks win for the ageless
  • LeBron still No. 1 with NBA’s most popular jersey
  • Pacquiao back in PH, heads home to wife, kids
  • Lifestyle

  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Entertainment

  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Whoopi Goldberg debuts as marijuana columnist
  • ‘X-men’ director accused of sex assault on teen boy
  • Cannes film festival launches race for 2014 Palme d’Or
  • Business

  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Oil prices mixed ahead of long Easter weekend
  • Technology

  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  • Last call for nominations to ’14 Presidential Awards
  • San Francisco business coalition slams proposed tax on sugary drinks
  • A ‘time-travel’ production of ‘Les Miserable’ at Stanford
  • Filipina Maryknoll sister honored for years of service
  • Marketplace