PAHO - Millennium Development Goals
Untitled Document
Millennium Development Goals
Untitled Document

PAHO - Millennium Development Goals


Technical Areas

Working on MDG 1


Area of Family and Community Health



Dr. Chessa Lutter

Regional Advisor on Food & Nutrition

Food & Nutrition Program

 The Food and Nutrition Program adopted the goals set out in the Declaration of the World Summit for Children and the International Conference on Nutrition as its foundation, and is aimed at reducing the high prevalence of malnutrition in the region.


Infant & Early Childhood Nutrition

PAHO along with the World Health Organization established the Guiding Principles for Complimentary Feeding of the Breastfed Child.


PAHO also has two specialized centers located in Latin America, the CFNI (Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute) and INCAP (Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama). Both organizations are dedicated to the eradication of extreme hunger, food and nutrition strategies. This includes developing food and nutrition policies and plans of action, building alliances and partnerships, human resources development, and research.



Regional Situation Analysis

Target 2 The region as a whole is on track to meet the target on hunger. The overall proportion of the population that is undernourished decreased from 13% (or 59.4 million people) in the early 1990s to approximately 10% (or 52.9 million) at the beginning of the present decade. At that point, however, almost two thirds of the population with insufficient access to food was concentrated primarily in Brazil (15.6 million), Colombia (5.7 million), Mexico (5.2 million), Venezuela (4.3 million) and Haiti (3.8 million). The overall risk of poor nutrition is very high in Central America and the Andes; however, because countries in these sub regions are relatively small, the higher risk translates into smaller absolute numbers.

Health targets  Health Indicators

Target 1

Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than one dollar a day

Target 2


Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger



Prevalence of underweight children under five years of age
Proportion of population below minimum level of dietary energy consumption

* target directly related to health


Region-wide averages do not reflect the situation in all countries. Most of the countries that started out with the highest levels of hunger have not been progressing fast enough to stay on track towards this target. Even if the region succeeds in meeting the hunger reduction target, population growth projections indicate that Latin America and the Caribbean will still have more than 40 million inhabitants in 2015 that do not have adequate energy intake. Although food balance sheets may support this assertion, it is doubtful that any nationally representative surveys that actually measure body mass index would support this assertion. As the prevalence of low BMI, indicative of energy deficiencies, are extremely low and usually lower than that expected in a normal distribution.

Like hunger, under nutrition (low weight for age) is particularly severe in Central America (El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua), in some Caribbean countries (Guyana, Haiti, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Suriname), and in Ecuador. In these countries, 10% or more of the under-five population exhibits low weight for age. It is important to point out that underweight grossly underestimates under nutrition as stunting (low height-for-age is double the prevalence of low weight-for-age and anemia reaches 70% among 6-12 month-olds in many countries.

Hunger results from both insufficient access to food and a lack of monetary income to acquire this food. The issue of dietary imbalance, from both a lack of and over consumption of basic macronutrients, is also predominant in the Region. Obesity and other pathologies need therefore to be addressed along with the effect of under nutrition.

As a whole, Latin America and the Caribbean produces three times as much food as its population needs. Food insecurity and hunger in the region are caused primarily by the very low income levels of large sectors of the population. Food access is further complicated when income inequalities within a country are mixed with disparities linked to area of residence, geographical isolation, ethnic group, household characteristics and gender.

In adopting measures to advance towards the hunger reduction target, policymakers must take their countryís particular situation into account, including its level of development, its capacity to produce and import food, the relative prices of food products, the populationís income levels and the degree of inequality in the distribution of consumption and in food access. Other factors that should be considered are the extent to which social groups most likely to suffer from hunger are geographically isolated, cultural traits that influence diet (particularly in countries with large indigenous populations) and access to water and sanitation services.

PAHO - Millennium Development Goals
PAHO - Millennium Development Goals
Develop a global partnership for development Ensure environmental sustainability Combat HIV/AIDs, malaria and other diseases Improve maternal health Reduce child mortality Promote gender equality and empower women Achieve universal primary education Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger