News / Africa

G8 Warned About Increasing World Hunger

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua

The G8 summit gets underway Friday in Muskoka, Canada.  While leaders are expected to concentrate on global economic and security issues, they’re also expected to review the status of the Millennium Development Goals.

The 8 goals have a target date of 2015 for big improvements in such issues as poverty, health, gender equality, among others.

The Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute, or IFPRI, is calling on G8 leaders to fulfill their commitments to sharply reducing hunger.  Shenggen Fan, IFPRI’s Director-General, is calling on leaders to take a “business as unusual approach.”

“I think the European debt crisis, the appreciation of the Chinese Yuan and the recovery of the global economy are important, but in the meantime do not ignore and neglect food security,” he says.  Fan warns, “If we do, it will be too late to fix.”

High prices

High prices and shortages marked the food crisis several years ago.  There have been improvements since then, but problems remain.

“The food prices have come down mainly due to increased supply from China, India, U.S. and Europe.  But food prices remain very high in many parts of the world, particularly in Africa.  For example, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda. They’re still facing very high food prices.  So the global food crisis is not over yet,” he says.

There’s been much talk since the food crisis began to boost investment in agriculture.

Fan says, “Many donors, many international organizations have committed to increase their funding for global food security.  That’s a good trend.  But we have to convert this commitment of pledges to real action, real implementation.  And we need to monitor which donors, which countries have really met their commitments.”

G8 Warned About Increasing World Hunger
G8 Warned About Increasing World Hunger

Implementation and commitments mean money.  “That’s right,’ says Fan, “For example, about a year ago during the L’Aquila G8 summit (in Italy), G8 countries committed (US) $22 billion for global food security.  It’s not enough, but it’s a good start.”

Social protection


As part of his “business as unusual” approach, the IFPRI head is calling for social protection as a “core pillar” of his strategy, along with funding agricultural investment.

“In the short run, many poor need to be protected, particularly women and children that do not have access to income, that do not have access to food.  They need to be protected.  So social protection will provide food for needy people in the short run,” he says.

In the long run, he says, “We have to make sure that these people will be able to move out of social protection.  They can really participate in economic growth.  So that’s why a combination of productive investment and social protection is needed.”

New players take the field

This year, the G8 and G20 summits overlap.  The G8 will be held June 25th and 26th and the G20 summit, also in Canada, is set for June 26th and 27th.

Fan says this allows “new actors” or “new players” to become involved in global development.  They include China, India, Brazil and some African countries, such as South Africa.

“The development in these emerging economies can have tremendous impact at a global level.  And these countries have really increased their shares in global economy, trade and investment.  And their role in global food security is also potentially large,” he says.

IFPRI is also urging the G8 to assist developing nations to take a “country-led bottom-up approach.”

“Country-led really means that a country designs its investment plans, (it’s) not donor driven.  Country-led does not mean government-led.  It means the local citizens and other stakeholders, private sector should also be involved in developing that strategy,” he says.

He says history shows that large scale successes in reducing hunger have always been country-driven.  “For example, the green revolution in Asia, agriculture and rural reform in China and Vietnam and more recently, Africa leaders have made a process to use 10 percent of their national budget to support…agriculture growth,” he says.

He adds, “Country-led means the countries are in the driver’s seat.”

MDGs

G8 leaders are expected to review progress being made on the eight Millennium Development Goals or MDGs.

“Right now, we are very much off track.  And we are dangerously off track.  By 2015 we’re supposed to reduce the number of hungry people to less than 600 million.  But today we have more than one billion.  One billion people who are suffering from hunger.  So the situation is very severe,” he says.

However, Fan is not giving up on achieving the goal to reduce hunger.

“I truly believe that if the global leaders are committed we can still achieve cutting hunger by half or even eliminate hunger altogether,” he says.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid