Text Only

UN Calls for Renewed Effort to End Hunger

16 October 2007
Castelfranco report (mp3) - Download 610K audio clip
Listen to Castelfranco report (mp3) audio clip

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization is calling for a renewed commitment to guarantee the right to food for the 850 million hungry people in the world.  A ceremony was held at FAO headquarters in Rome to mark World Food Day 2007.  Sabina Castelfranco reports from Rome.

Zimbabwean children wait for food at Masarira primary school, for some it is the only meal they will have in the day, said headteacher Zvinavashe Takabvirakare (File Photo) 
Zimbabwean children wait for food at Masarira primary school (File Photo) 
The Right to Food is this year's theme for World Food Day, which is celebrated every year in 150 countries.  During a ceremony at FAO headquarters in Rome, U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization Director General Jacques Diouf said 854 million people still go to sleep on an empty stomach, despite the fact our planet produces enough food to feed its entire population.

The president of Germany, Horst Köhler, said that hunger is not an inescapable destiny, but can be eliminated by wise policies.  He added that this requires that governments of developing countries make food security a priority.

The president of Tanzania, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, also addressed international delegates gathered for the ceremony.

"The scourge of hunger lingers on," Kikwete said. "There are little signs of receding.  Instead hunger seems to be on the ascendancy.  Estimates of this organization show that more than 850 million people in the world still live in a state of serious and permanent undernourishment.  Sub-Saharan Africa alone has 206 million people.  This is also almost a quarter of the continent's population."

Economically weaker Indian farmers from Uttar Pradesh cook their meal at New Delhi's protest venue, Jantar Mantar, 16 Oct 2007
Economically weaker Indian farmers from Uttar Pradesh cook their meal at New Delhi's protest venue, Jantar Mantar, 16 Oct 2007
President Kikwete said that at current trends the 2015 target of halving the number of hungry people in the world seems unlikely to be achieved unless efforts are redoubled at national and international level.

"Nearly 40,000 children die every day throughout the world due to malnutrition and related diseases," Kikwete said. "These are the people who have been denied the right to food.  These are the very people who are the subject of this year's World Food Day."

President Kikwete said there is enough food being produced globally to feed everyone and ideally no one should die of hunger in the world we live in.  For Africa and the developing world, he added, the ultimate solution to chronic hunger does not lie with food aid alone, but with the improvement of agriculture.

"Agriculture is central to livelihood of the people in Africa.  About 70 percent of the people in sub-Saharan Africa live in the rural areas and depend on agriculture for their livelihood," Kikwete said. "Agriculture contributes 30 percent of the GDP and 40 percent of the export earnings of the economies of sub-Saharan Africa."

Mr. Kikwete said that if African agricultural problems are resolved, there would be no more hunger in the continent.  

emailme.gif E-mail This Article
printerfriendly.gif Print Version

  Related Stories
Scientists: Climate Change Could Affect World Food Supply
Spike in Food Prices Causes Global Concern
Corn-Derived Ethanol Shares Blame for Food Price Hikes
  Top Story
S. Korea, U.S. Concerned By North Korean Uranium Announcement  Audio Clip Available

  More Stories
Reported NATO Airstrike Kills Scores in Northern Afghanistan
Gates: Afghan War 'Not Slipping Through' Obama's Fingers  Audio Clip Available
Iran's Parliament Approves 18 of 21 Cabinet Nominees  Audio Clip Available
US Cuts Some Aid to Honduras  Audio Clip Available
Path Is Unclear for Fatah's New Leaders  Video clip available
China Approves One-Dose H1N1 Vaccine  Audio Clip Available
US Election Observers Closely Watching Tally of Afghan Election Results  Video clip available
Obama Faces Political Challenges on Health Care, Afghanistan  Audio Clip Available
Gabon Imposes Curfew After Violence Over Election Win by Son of Late President
Family, Friends Pay Final Tribute to Michael Jackson
Indonesia Quake Death Toll Rises, Scores Still Missing  Audio Clip Available
New Protests Erupt in Western China  Audio Clip Available
Biden Says US Economic Stimulus Plan is Working  Video clip available
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Mourned Following Death in Helicopter Crash  Audio Clip Available
India Hosts Trade Ministers Meeting  Audio Clip Available
Incoming Japanese Prime Minister Meets With US Ambassador  Audio Clip Available
Australia, US to Invite China to War Games  Audio Clip Available
UN Secretary-General Issues Stark Warning On Climate Change
California Firefighters Save Observatory as Wildfire Continues to Burn
Late US Senator's Memoir Talks of Personal, Public Tragedies