News / Africa

World Food Prize Fetes Former Presidents

Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan with World Food Prize president Kenneth Quinn in Des Moines, Iowa, Oct. 2010 (file photo).
Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan with World Food Prize president Kenneth Quinn in Des Moines, Iowa, Oct. 2010 (file photo).

Two former world leaders are being recognized for contributions to the fight against hunger during a ceremony in Des Moines, in the central U.S. state of Iowa.

The World Food Prize organization is awarding Ghana's John Agyekum Kufuor and Brazil's Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva for "visionary leadership" in reducing poverty and malnutrition in their countries over the past decade.

Kufuor's agriculture-focused economic reforms substantially boosted Ghana's economy, reducing poverty from 51.7 percent in 1991 to 26.5 percent in 2008. Under his government, school meal programs began to reach more than a million primary school students in a country of about nine million kids. During Kufuor's eight-year term, Ghana became the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to cut the percentage of hungry people by more than half from 1990 levels.

During da Silva's eight-year term, he made breakfast, lunch and dinner for all Brazilians a central goal of his administration, ensuring that more than 90 percent of the country's children ate three meals a day, while reducing the rate of extreme poverty from 12 percent in 2003 to less than 5 percent in 2009.

World Food Prize President Kenneth Quinn said da Silva's "Zero Hunger" policy strengthened family farms, cut poverty, and reduced child malnutrition by about 60 percent.

"President Kufuor and President Lula da Silva have set an incredibly powerful example for other political leaders in the world," Quinn said.

The two presidents will share the $250,000 prize, which will be presented on Friday, Oct. 14, at 0000 UTC, and will be live-stream broadcast at the World Food Prize website. It is the first time in the 25-year history of the World Food Prize that its top honor in food and agriculture has been awarded to heads of state.

The World Food Prize was established by plant breeder and 1970 Nobel Peace Prize winner Norman Borlaug, considered by many the father of the Green Revolution, which greatly increased rice and wheat yields and averted famine in Asia in the 1960s.

The prize, awarded annually to individuals who make significant contributions toward improving food quality, quantity or availability, typically goes to researchers, lawmakers and others who lead anti-hunger efforts around the world.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid