“Vote for the Appropriations Committee recommendation for foreign operations and against any cuts that would hurt hungry and poor people."
That was the succinct message of a slide posted by Bread for the World President David Beckmann yesterday at the Alliance to End Hunger annual gathering. It was all that needed to be said in advance of next week’s scheduled vote in the Senate on the State Department’s foreign operations funding levels for fiscal year 2012 – if indeed it comes to the Senate floor. The Senate committee flat-lined the budget from fiscal year 2011 numbers, which is considered to be something of a triumph in these times of voracious cuts. Adopting those recommendations would set a high water mark; no one figures it will get any better.
Adam Russell Taylor currently serves as the Vice President of Advocacy at World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. He formerly served as the Senior Political Director at Sojourners, a Christian organization that integrates spiritual renewal with social justice and as the Executive Director of Global Justice, an organization that educates, trains, and mobilizes students around issues of global human rights and economic justice.
G20 Outlook: Will Food Security Agenda Remain Priority at Cannes Summit?
This weekend, American families will be preparing their Halloween costumes and loading up on last minute candy purchases. On Monday night, most American children will be walking the dark streets in ghoulish costumes and returning home happy with bags full of sweets. For the next few weeks they will consume way more than the minimum calories (1,500 Kcal per day for a child) needed for their development while an estimated one billion people will go to bed hungry. Next week, the G20 Summit in Cannes, France provides a critical opportunity for President Obama to galvanize G20 leadership in addressing the mounting crisis of food security—the lack of reliable, nutritious food for the world’s poorest people.
Every year the Heads of State from the 20 largest economy’s in the world gather to discuss pressing issues facing the global economy. Unfortunately, the escalating financial crisis in Europe risks overshadowing and derailing urgent progress on food security and development issues. While the G20 has made food price volatility and food security key agenda items this year; the re-emergence of rising food prices and price volatility in international markets, the existence of acute food insecurity in some regions such as east Africa, and the continuing slow emergency in child and maternal malnutrition, make bolder leadership imperative. With its significant member resources and political clout, the G20 is in a unique position to ensure that effective continuing mechanisms and strategies are put in place to solve these problems.
In this interview with Roger Thurow, senior fellow at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, he discusses the need for effective agricultural development for smallholder farmers in Africa as an important step in eradicating hunger in the region.
If you want proof positive about how relatively small investments in agricultural development assistance can pay huge dividends for both developing and donor countries, then keep your eyes on the prize — the World Food Prize, that is.
This award, which recognizes contributions to improving the world’s food supply, was presented Thursday to the former presidents of two countries where progress in battling hunger continues to be a bright spot amid the turmoil of the current global financial and food crises.
Under President Inácio Lula da Silva, Brazil cut in half its proportion of hungry people and slashed its poverty rate from 12 percent to below 5 percent. Ghana also has made impressive gains in the past 15 years, for which President John Kufour is being honored: Malnutrition has fallen from one-third to less than one-tenth of the population, and poverty has been cut by 50 percent since the mid-1990s.
The teenagers of rural western Kenya I have met during the past year have no shortage of ambition. Especially the girls. They want to be doctors and nurses and teachers and lawyers and pilots.
One girl, an eighth-grader name Jackline, rises long before the sun every morning to begin making breakfast tea for her family. By 4:30, she is walking the mile to her primary school for a special study session to prepare for the national standard exams that will determine where she will go to high school next year, if her marks are good enough. Then after a full day of classes, and a break for a meager dinner, she returns to school after dark for another hour or two of study.
She hopes to become a nurse, and maybe work for the village pharmacy where the nurse in charge is desperate for an assistant.
Realizing these ambitions is essential for the economic development of rural areas in the developing world, particularly Africa. A new Chicago Council report, Girls Grow: A Vital Force in Rural Economies, highlights the untapped potential of adolescent girls living in rural areas.
Bringing Agriculture to the Table: How Agriculture and Food Can Play a Role in Preventing Chronic Disease
By Elizabeth Ramborger
A new report released by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Bringing Agriculture to the Table: How Agriculture and Food Can Play a Role in Preventing Chronic Disease, calls on the agriculture and food sector to play a role in mitigating the global rise in Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) and identifies new opportunities for those in health and agriculture to work together to promote better health. The report was prepared by Dr. Rachel Nugent, University of Washington and project chair for The Chicago Council. The project was guided by an advisory panel of noted agriculture and health experts from academia, the private sector, and international organizations.
The report was released before the opening of the September 19 UN High-Level Meeting (“HLM”) on NCDs at a breakfast briefing hosted by the Business Council for the United Nations, PepsiCo, and the United Nations Foundation and attended by leaders from international institutions, national delegations to the UN, industry, and civil society. Following a presentation of the report’s conclusions and recommendations, Patrick Kelley of the Institute of Medicine moderated a panel discussion with experts in the agriculture and nutrition fields, including Derek Yach of PepsiCo, Gary Toeniesson of The Rockefeller Foundation, and Shenggen Fan of International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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