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

Ukraine: Mysterious 'Roaming Tank' Reportedly Takes Aim at Smugglers

Ukraine's TV, print media, Facebook abuzz with reports a 'roaming tank' is on the loose, destroying vehicles of those involved in smuggling More

US Wildlife Service Begins Probe of Killing of Cecil the Lion

Minnesota man accused of killing beast is in hiding, has been asked to contact US officials; White House to review extradition petition More

Video Kerry Five-Nation Tour to Cover Security, Iran Nuclear Deal

Secretary of state will visit Egypt, Qatar, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam to discuss security issues, Iran nuclear deal, Trans-Pacific Partnership 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.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs