From June 10th through the 13th, Rome will be the setting of an international meeting on world hunger. The gathering, called “World Food Summit: Five Years Later,” is a follow-up to a previous Rome meeting in which targets were set to reduce the number of hungry people. The goal was to halve that number from 800 million to 400 million by the year 2015.
The event is being hosted by the UN Food and Agricultural Organization, the FAO. As part of the summit, it’s calling for a new “Global Anti-Hunger Program” that includes an additional 24-billion dollars annually to fight the problem.
FAO Assistant Director-General Hartwig de Haen says, “Most of the hungry people are in rural areas and the world’s investment does not go to rural areas.” He says the goals set at the original World Food Summit are still valid, but he says, “What’s lacking is political will to implement a plan of action.” He says that if the additional twenty-four billion dollars annually is not given, the goal of 2015 will not be reached. He says, “Instead of 400 millon hungry people, there will be 600 million.”
The FAO says, “Almost one person in seven does not have enough food to eat. Most of the hungry people live in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.” Hartwig de Haen spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua.