News / Africa

IFPRI Calls for Greater Action to End Hunger

Global Hunger Index 2012 says hunger remains serious global problem. Credit: IFPRI
Global Hunger Index 2012 says hunger remains serious global problem. Credit: IFPRI

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua
A food policy organization says there’s been a lot of talk about fighting hunger, but too little action. IFPRI (IF-pree), the International Food Policy Research Institute, says progress has been piecemeal, at best.


IFPRI says world food security remained at risk last year with 870-million people listed as hungry and two-billion as being deficient in micronutrients. It’s making recommendations to help speed progress in a new report called Walk the Talk.

IFPRI Director General Shenggen Fan described 2012 as a “mixed year” for progress against hunger.

“On the one hand we do see some positive developments, particularly at the country level. African countries, India, China, Brazil continue to commit themselves to increase investment in Agriculture, in agricultural research -- to really increase their agricultural productivity at a global level. Donor agencies, the World Bank, USAID, have also increased their investment in agriculture, in food security and nutrition.”

But he said THAT 2012 also saw plenty of talk with little follow through.

“In 2012, we had lots of debates, discussions, conferences without a clear roadmap – without a clear, actual plan to implement,” he said.

Fan said that a lack of political will means that food security did not progress as far as it should have last year. Also, following the food crisis in 2008 and 2009, many promises were made to increase investment in smallholder agriculture. Small farms, many headed by women, were described as a key element in reducing hunger and ensuring food security.

Many countries have made progress in supporting smallholders. However, many other countries have also failed in doing that in providing very much needed smallholder technologies, smallholder market access, smallholder inputs to help them to increase their production, to improve their income and eventually to diversify their livelihoods away from agriculture.

The IFPRI chief issued a statement saying that “on its current trajectory of tepid promises and unfulfilled commitments, the international community will fall far short of the Millennium Development Goal of halving the number of people who suffer from hunger by 2015.”

Supporters of greater agricultural investment in poor countries have often criticized the use of subsidies by rich nations. They say it puts developing countries at a disadvantage in producing and selling their goods. Now, countries such as India and China, with their booming economies, are also opting for subsidies.

“Well, this has been a trend, but it’s not necessarily the right trend. So we need to change that trend. When poorer countries or middle income countries move to a higher level income status, they should try to think very hard why they should follow the more advanced countries,” said Fan.

He said that 2013 is a critical year to both the review the progress of the Millennium Development Goals and set new development goals for post 2015.

“Hungry people, poor people, must be on the top of the post 2015 agenda. And clearly, the whole economy, including agricultural production, food production, has to be sustainable in the long run by using less water and less land and less energy or use them more efficiently.”

IFPRI’S director general said ending hunger would have implications far beyond nutritional concerns.

“The global community will be more peaceful; probably will be more prosperous because if people don’t worry about the food they have the energy to think something else to improve other dimensions of their life. And if people have food to eat, they are less violent,” he said.

There’s no excuse, said Fan, for anyone to go to bed hungry, adding it’s time the international community walked the talk on food security.

You May Like

Video Video Claims to Show Shi'ite Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planeti
X
George Putic
March 04, 2015 8:51 PM
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.

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