News / Africa

    World Food Prize Laureate Encouraged by Gains Against Hunger, Poverty

    Multimedia

    Audio
    Joe DeCapua

    The winner of the 2010 World Food Prize says eradicating hunger is within reach.  The comment came as the United Nations prepares to hold its summit next week (9/20-22) on the Millennium Development Goals.

    Rev. David Beckmann says he’s encouraged by efforts to achieve the MDGs – especially the first goal, to eliminate extreme poverty and hunger.

    “I take a lot of encouragement from the fact that the world’s been making some progress against hunger, poverty and disease.  (We’re) almost surely not going to hit all the Millennium Development Goals in all the countries of the world.  But we have seen remarkable progress against hunger and poverty,” he says.

    Beckmann, who’s president of Bread for the World, says a lot of progress can be seen in sub-Saharan Africa.

    “There are 30 million more kids in school than 10 years ago.  Although the rate of hunger is still way too high in Africa, about half the countries in Africa in fact have made really significant progress against poverty over the last 10 years or so,” he says.

    Get involved

    But he says to eradicate hunger and poverty requires everyone’s participation, starting with world leaders at the U.N. summit.

    “It takes political commitment.  So it’s good to get all these heads of government to come together in New York because it makes them focus on poor people.  The people who run governments have a lot of other pressures and they usually don’t focus on poor people.  So, it’s good for them, but it’s also good for us because it makes you and me talk and your listeners listen and think about what can happen to reduce poverty, hunger, disease.  Because I think a lot of the action really is in our hands,” he says.

    David Beckmann, Bread for the World
    David Beckmann, Bread for the World

    The U.N. summit will also be used to launch a global campaign to end childhood hunger and malnutrition.  Some are calling it the thousand day campaign.  Beckman says recent studies have shown the importance of good nutrition at a very early age.

    “The most important lesson from all these studies is…that to have a high impact you’ve got to focus on babies and pregnant women.  So the thousand days between conception and age two.  That’s the highest impact time to make sure that a child has good food, enough food, good nutrition.  If we miss that window, the child’s health and intellectual capacity will be less for the rest of his or her life,” he says.

    Not just a job

    For Beckman, the effort to eradicate hunger and poverty is a spiritual one.

    “I’m a preacher, a Christian preacher.  So, when I see the fact that hundreds of millions of people have escaped from poverty, I think this is God moving in our time,” he says, adding, “It’s something that we can do that God wants to have happen that, you know, kids ought to have enough to eat.  Every kid in the world ought to have enough to eat.  That’s actually within reach now over the next couple of decades.”

    He says having enough food is a basic human right.

    You May Like

    Russia Sees Brexit Impact Widespread but Temporary

    Officials, citizens react to Britain’s vote to exit European Union with mix of pleasure, understanding and concern

    Obama Encourages Entrepreneurs to Seek Global Interconnection

    President tells entrepreneurs at global summit at Stanford University to find mentors, push ahead with new ideas on day after Britain voters decide to exit EU

    Video Some US Gun Owners Support Gun Control

    Defying the stereotype, Dave Makings says he'd give up his assault rifle for a comprehensive program to reduce gun violence

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora