A renewed effort is needed to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of cutting global hunger in half by 2015, a group of Christian leaders announced Monday.
In 2000, international leaders agreed to a set of MDGs, including universal primary school enrollment, reducing child and maternal mortality, reducing infectious diseases, improving gender equality and environmental sustainability, and cutting the proportion of people living in hunger and poverty by half.
Tremendous progress has already been made toward eradicating global hunger and poverty. The goal of cutting poverty in half was achieved this year and the international community is halfway to achieving the hunger goal.
The 2013 Hunger Report, "Within Reach: Global Development Goals," calls on leaders to make a final push to achieve the MDG on hunger by the target date of 2015 and looks ahead to setting new MDGs in 2015.
"The final push for the Millennium Development Goals will need the full support and backing of the U.S. government," said the Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. "We are calling on the president of the United States to demonstrate strong leadership by helping to form a global agreement on the next generation of development goals, starting with a goal to end hunger here in the United States."
The 2013 Hunger Report was signed by 43 Christian leaders representing a diverse group of denominations and para-church organizations, including Evangelicals for Social Action, Food for the Hungry, The Salvation Army, World Relief, and World Vision.
As President Barack Obama and members of Congress engage in debates on reducing the nation's fiscal deficits, the report asks the U.S. federal government to maintain and increase funding for international development programs.
The report also suggests that the new MDGs developed in 2015 include eradicating hunger and extreme poverty by 2040. The report wants faith leaders to spur U.S. political leaders to become more actively involved in the 2015 MDGs.
"The final push for the MDGs and development of new goals will need the full support and backing of the U.S. government. Civil society in the United States, especially the faith community, must work quickly to make this a priority for the president and Congress," the report states.
The full report, additional information, infographics and a Christian study guide are available at www.hungerreport.org.