News / USA

Former Heads of Brazil, Ghana Awarded Anti-Hunger Prize

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and John Agyekum Kufuor dramatically cut hunger in their developing countries

Former president of Ghana, John Agyekum Kufuor, right, and former president of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva, receive the 2011 World Food Prize in Des Moines, Iowa on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011.
Former president of Ghana, John Agyekum Kufuor, right, and former president of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva, receive the 2011 World Food Prize in Des Moines, Iowa on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011.

Two former presidents who dramatically reduced hunger in their developing countries received the World Food Prize, the top prize honoring achievements to combat hunger.

Brazil's Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and John Agyekum Kufuor of Ghana were honored for instituting policies which cut their nation's hunger rates.


The World Food Prize was awarded Thursday in the U.S. state of Iowa.  

Rising fortunes

Cocoa farmers in Ghana saw their fortunes improve dramatically under Kufuor. Government investments in farmer education, fertilizers and pest control doubled cocoa production per hectare.

Farmers raising yams and other food crops got government help, too, leading to big productivity and income gains.

In addition, Kufuor backed a school meal program which reaches about one in nine of Ghana's primary school children.

These programs helped cut the African nation’s hunger rate from 34 percent in 1990 to nine percent in 2004.

Former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva made reducing hunger one of his government's highest priorities.
Former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva made reducing hunger one of his government's highest priorities.

Brazil's popular former president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, also made reducing hunger one of his government's highest priorities.

"This is a sacred right, a fundamental right of all humans," said Lula da Silva. "Because famine, without a doubt, is the biggest weapon of mass destruction."

'Bolsa Familia'

Poor Brazilian families were guaranteed a minimum income and basic services under his "Bolsa Familia" program, while programs improving poor families' access to food cut the hunger rate in half.

Ghana's former president, John Agyekum Kufuor, backed a school meal program which reached about one in nine of his country's primary school children.
Ghana's former president, John Agyekum Kufuor, backed a school meal program which reached about one in nine of his country's primary school children.

That strategy won Lula da Silva an award last year from the U.N. World Food Program, presented by the group's chief, Josette Sheeran.

"Brazil has been beating the hunger curve faster than any nation," he said.

Lula da Silva and Kufuor share the privately-sponsored $250,000 award.

The World Food Prize was established by Norman Borlaug, the American plant breeder and 1970 Nobel Peace Prize winner whose improvements in wheat and rice are credited with averting famine in Asia in the 1960s.   

You May Like

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More