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

    Multimedia Obama Calls on Americans to Help the Families of Its War Dead

    In last Memorial Day of his presidency, Obama lays wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery

    The Strife of the Party: Will Trump Permanently Alter Republicans?

    While billionaire mogul's no-holds-barred style, high-energy delivery are what rocketed him to nomination, they also have created rift between party elites and his supporters

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora