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

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More