News / Africa

NGO Praises Recent Anti-Hunger Efforts

Bread for the World Institute says for the first time in human history, the opportunity exists to end global hunger within a generation. (Credit: Laura Pohl / Bread for the World)
Bread for the World Institute says for the first time in human history, the opportunity exists to end global hunger within a generation. (Credit: Laura Pohl / Bread for the World)

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua
The U.N. says hunger kills more people every year than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. Despite progress since 1990, it’s estimated more than 840 million people still do not have enough to eat. Nevertheless, the director of the Bread for the World Institute said recent efforts can bring a dramatic improvement.
 
Listen to De Capua report on world hunger
Listen to De Capua report on world hungeri
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

Asma Lateef said that the opportunity exists to tackle hunger on a sustained basis -- and not just address emergency situations.
 
“Well, I think we are in a good space right now. I think for the first time in human history we have the prospect of ending global hunger within a generation – by 2030,” she said.
 
The Bread for the World Institute is a Christian-based organization providing strategies to end world hunger. Lateef said achieving the potential to ensure food security has been a joint effort.
 
“This has been due to a lot of deliberate work on the part of governments around the world, particularly the governments of countries that are hardest hit by hunger – but also by the support of the United States and the leadership of the United States,” she said.
 
The 1996 U.N. World Food Summit issued the Rome Declaration. It called for reducing by half the number of chronically undernourished people by 2015. However, Lateef said that at the time there was no unified strategy as to how to do that.
 
“There was a great focus on industrialization. I think people felt that if you helped countries develop and have economic growth that that would address hunger as well," she said. "And so you did find, actually, a huge reduction in extreme poverty around the world. But that didn’t translate into – necessarily at the same pace – a reduction in hunger.”
 
Lateef said the focus on how to fight hunger changed during the 2008 food security crisis – as high prices and shortages affected many countries.
 
“It was the global response that came as a result of that food price crisis. It was a real wake-up call," she said. "Riots around the world as people were really struggling to be able to afford and prices of basic commodities had just skyrocketed. That got the attention of a lot of policymakers, including U.S. leaders at the time. And since then, the Obama administration has really made food security and hunger a priority within global development programs and has galvanized global attention to this issue.”
 
Leaders realized that food insecurity was a threat to national security.  Lateef said policies developed during the food crisis have made a difference.
 
“You know,” she said, “we’re very close to achieving the Millennium Development Goal of halving hunger by 2015. We won’t make that target because it’s next year and because of the food price crisis, but the effort that’s been put in over the last few years really puts us on track.”
 
The Bread for the World Institute director says currently enough food is being produced to feed everyone on the planet.  The problem, she says, is that many people cannot afford it or gain access to it. And a lot of food is wasted every year by poor harvesting and inadequate storage and transportation.
 
It’s estimated the world population will grow from about seven billion to nine billion by 2050. As a result, the emphasis in recent years has been on investing in smallholder farms – and making them much more efficient.
 
Lateef said, “With growing population as well as with the impact of climate change on food security there will be a need to really become more innovative -- and make use of all the available arable land and get more out of the land than we currently do. In Africa, a lot of the land is not being used to its full potential.”
 
Lateef praised the U.S. government’s recent Feed the Future progress report, saying it links livelihoods to smallholder farm investments. She called on the U.S. and others to ensure those investments are made over the long-term.

You May Like

Russia's 'V-Day' Glory Over Nazis Overshadowed by Ukraine

Critics say Soviet-style display of power, nationalism don't recognize tragic scars of warfare that still influence politics, fighting in Ukraine More

Tensions Simmer in Hong Kong in Lead Up to Vote

Many Hong Kong citizen say if the reform plan will be a step back for the pro-democracy movement if passed More

Multimedia Obama Calls for New Commitment to Help Minority Youths Succeed

President introduces My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, foundation supporting better education and job prospects More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Campaign Raises Money to 'Uncuff' Journalistsi
X
May 04, 2015 3:32 PM
Beginning Sunday – World Press Freedom Day – the Committee to Protect Journalists, a private U.S. group, is launching a campaign to bring attention to their plight and encourage efforts to free them. Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Campaign Raises Money to 'Uncuff' Journalists

Beginning Sunday – World Press Freedom Day – the Committee to Protect Journalists, a private U.S. group, is launching a campaign to bring attention to their plight and encourage efforts to free them. Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Volunteers Pull Together to Aid Baltimore Riot Victims

Calm has returned to Baltimore, Maryland, after authorities lifted an overnight curfew imposed almost a week ago to stem the rioting that followed the funeral of Freddie Gray - the 25-year-old black man who died of spinal injuries suffered while in police custody. Six police officers, three of them African-American, have been charged in connection with his death. Baltimore is now trying to get back to normal, in part with the help of volunteers who responded to calls to help those in the city'
Video

Video From Aleppo To Berlin: Band of Brothers Escapes Civil War

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the civil war in their country and journeyed to Europe by boat across the Mediterranean. It is a terrifying ordeal with dangers at every turn. A group of Syrian brothers and their friends describe their ordeal as they try to reach Germany. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports. ...
Video

Video Rural Nepal Suffers Brunt of Quake’s Devastation

Nepal is still coming to grips with the full extent of the devastation and misery caused by last Saturday’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake. Some of the hardest-hit communities have been cut off by landslides making it difficult to assess the precise toll. A VOA News crew has been among the first to reach a few of the smaller, remote communities. Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Sindhupolchak district, east of Kathmandu, which suffered greatly in Nepal’s worst quake in more than 80 years.
Video

Video Obama Praises Work of 3 Immigrant Journalists

President Barack Obama met with three immigrant journalists at the White House Friday to praise them for their work ahead of World Press Freedom Day, May 3. In attendance: Dieu Cay (his pen name) a blogger from Vietnam recently released from prison; Lily Mengesha from Ethiopia who was harassed and detained for exposing the marrying off of young girls as child brides, and Fatima Tlisova, an ethnic Circassian from the North Caucasus region of Russia, who works for VOA's Russian Service.
Video

Video Middle East Atheist Channel Defies Taboo

In Egypt, a deeply religious country in a deeply religious region, atheism is not only taboo, it is dangerous. It is sometimes even criminal to publicly declare nonbelief. Despite the danger, one group of activists is pushing back with a new online channel that defends the right not to believe. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Black Families Use Baltimore Case to Revisit 'Police Talk'

Following Freddie Gray’s death in police custody this month, VOA interviewed black families throughout the eastern U.S. city of Baltimore about how they discuss the case. Over and over, parents pointed to a crucial talk they say every black mother or father has with their children. Victoria Macchi has more on how this conversation is passed down through generations.
Video

Video Nepal Quake Survivors Tell Their Stories

Against all hope, rescuers have found a few more survivors of the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal last Saturday. Mountain climbers and hikers trapped in remote places also have been airlifted to safety, and aid is finally reaching people in the areas closest to the quake's epicenter. Survivors and rescuers are now recounting their experience. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Lessons for Germany, Europe Remain on Anniversary of WWII's End

The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II will be marked May 8-9 in all European countries except Germany, which lost the war. How is the war viewed there, and what impact is it still having? From Berlin, VOA’s Al Pessin reports.
Video

Video Nepal Town Destroyed By Quake Counts Itself Lucky

Foreign search teams on Wednesday began reaching some of the communities outside Kathmandu that suffered worse damage than Nepal’s capital from last Saturday’s massive earthquake. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman is in Sankhu - a town of about 10,000 people - where there is relief the death toll is not higher despite widespread destruction.
Video

Video First Surgical Glue Approved for Use Inside Body

While medical adhesives are becoming more common, none had been approved for use inside the body until now. Earlier this year, the first ever biodegradable surgical glue won that approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on the innovation and its journey from academia to market.
Video

Video Somali Hotel Chain Owner Strives to Make a Difference

Many in the Somali diaspora are returning home to make a new life despite the continuing risks. Since 2011 when a military campaign against Al-Shabab militants began making progress, members of the diaspora community have come back to open hospitals, schools, hotels, restaurants and other businesses. Abdulaziz Billow in Mogadishu profiles the owner of a chain of hotels and restaurants who is helping to bring change to the once-deadly Somali capital.
Video

Video Study: One in Six Species Threatened with Extinction

Climate change is transforming the planet. Unless steps are taken to reduce global warming, scientists predict rising seas, stronger and more frequent storms, drought, fire and floods. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, a new study on species extinction underscores the need to take action to avoid the most catastrophic effects of rising temperatures.
Video

Video Child Migrants Cross Mediterranean Alone, Face Unknown Future

Among the thousands of migrants making the deadly journey by boat to Europe, there are unaccompanied girls and boys. Some have been sent by relatives to earn money; others are orphaned or fleeing war. From a shelter for young migrants in the Sicilian town of Caltagirone, VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Baltimore Riots Shed Light on City’s Troubled Past

National Guard troops took up positions Tuesday in Baltimore, Maryland, as authorities tried to restore order after rioting broke out a day earlier. It followed Monday's funeral of a 25-year-old black man who died while in police custody earlier this month. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.

Poll: Baltimore Police Charged

Poll archive

VOA Blogs