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).
TEXT SIZE - +

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

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid