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

Photogallery US Nurse ‘Cured of Ebola,’ NIH Says

Nina Pham, Texas nurse who treated first Ebola patient in US, received no experimental drugs; WHO expects vaccine surge in 2015 More

Video Islamic State Militants Encroach on Baghdad

Iraqi capital not under ‘imminent threat,’ US military says, amid worries about foothold More

Video Hong Kong Protesters Focus on Holding Volatile Mong Kok

Activists say holding Mong Kok is key to their movement's success, despite confrontations with angry residents and police 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid