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

FIFA Indictments Put Gold Cup Tournament Under Cloud

Experts say US indictments could lead to charges of other world soccer officials, and lead to major shakeup in sport's governance More

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

At a recent even in Seoul, border communities promoted benefits of increased cooperation and North Korean defectors shared stories of life since the war More

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows Fight to Death With IS

In wide-ranging interview, Fuad Masum describes new type of fight that will take time to win 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.
Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs