News / Africa

    UN World Food Security Committee Meets in Rome

    Severely malnourished child from southern Somalia is being held in a makeshift shelter in a refugee camp in Mogadishu, Somalia (File Photo - Sept. 20, 2011).
    Severely malnourished child from southern Somalia is being held in a makeshift shelter in a refugee camp in Mogadishu, Somalia (File Photo - Sept. 20, 2011).
    Joe DeCapua

    The U.N. Committee on World Food Security opened its new session in Rome Monday. The meeting follows Sunday’s observance of World Food Day with the theme: Food Prices – from Crisis to Stability.

    Actor Jeremy Lyons – the new goodwill ambassador for the Food and Agriculture Organization – addressed the Rome meeting.

    “In our world, billions of dollars are spent on aid and investment. Billions of words are spoken, written, promising change and a billion people still go hungry every day. Now as a citizen of the world, I find myself asking: why is this?”

    Lyons questioned whether it’s a matter of money or the way aid money is spent. He says he wonders whether a whole new approach to combating hunger is needed.

    “Now we need to answer these questions urgently because what we do know is that the gap between those who have and those who have not is widening every year,” he said.

    Weapon of mass destruction

    FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf said his agency predicts food price volatility will continue for the foreseeable future.

    “The impact of food price volatility falls heaviest on the poorest, especially the urban poor and the landless, who may spend as much as 75 percent of their income on food,” he said.

    Food price volatility is blamed in part on growing demand.

    Diouf said, “High rates of economic growth in emerging economies have boosted commodity demand. There has also been increasing demand for some agricultural products as feed stock for biofuel production, which has expanded significantly as a result of subsidies and mandates.”

    Meanwhile, World Food Program Executive Director Josette Sheeran called for the political will to end hunger.

    “Hunger is a weapon of mass destruction – the deadliest we know. We need leaders who will tackle hunger and stand with life,” she said.

    Sheeran said safety nets that were in place in the Horn of Africa mitigated the effects of the long drought and protected millions of lives. But she says much more could have been done.

    Kanayo Nwanze, head of IFAD, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, agreed.

    “Still the fact remains people have died. Children are malnourished. People are suffering. This was a crisis that need not have happened. But it did happen. And unfortunately, it may happen again,” he said.

    FAO chief Diouf said greater investment in agriculture can help ensure food security and fight poverty.

    “The time has come to take action and implement policies that will enable all farmers of the world in developing and developed countries alike to face equitable conditions through mechanisms that do not distort markets and consequently be able to earn an income suitable for a dignified life,” he said.

    The demand for food is only expected to grow, with a world population of nine billion predicted by 2050. The U.N. Committee on World Food Security includes U.N. agencies, NGOs, civil society, financial and trade institutions and others.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    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.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora