The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Republic of Korea (South Korea) have joined forces to bolster Zero Hunger efforts in the Asia-Pacific region, and strengthen their collaboration in South Korea where the UN agency has opened its first office.
The FAO-South Korea collaboration aims to make the country's technical know-how in agriculture, forestry and fishery available for vulnerable rural populations in the region, and help accelerate Zero Hunger efforts across the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.
It will promote partnerships with the private sector, academia and civil society to facilitate exchanges on food security governance, technology transfer, training and research, and improve access to scientific and technical information to boost agricultural production.
These renewed efforts are especially fitting as the Asia-Pacific region accounts for over half of the world's hungry people - nearly half a billion people - and progress in reducing hunger has slowed tremendously in recent years.
On the other hand, the region has seen an increase in obesity - both in children and adults - and has the fastest growing prevalence of childhood obesity in the world.
Some 14.5 million children under five are overweight and virtually all children in the region are increasingly exposed to cheap, unhealthy processed foods high in salt, sugar and fat but poor in essential nutrients.
The FAO-South Korea collaboration aims to fight hunger and malnutrition in all its forms by enabling the production and consumption of healthier and more nutritious foods, and by protecting our environment and biodiversity.