Monday, July 06, 2009

A preview of the G-8

The G-8 begins to meet tomorrow in Italy. There is a lot of concern amongst anti-poverty activists as to how much the issues of poverty will be addressed at the meeting. Host country Italy has not done well in meeting their commitments to fund aid to the under-developed world. If fact, Italy has cut back on some of the funding.

So during tomorrow's three hour meeting food security will share the agenda with global warming. As a preview of what might be talked about in regards to food security, we turn to this article that we found at the Irish Times, writer Jamie Smith fills us in.

The G8 states are also expected to sign up to a new food security initiative, which aims to replace food aid with more sustainable aid to farmers in the developing world. The Financial Times reported yesterday that the G8 would set up an $12 billion fund to disburse over three years to reverse “the tendency of decreasing official development aid and national financing to agriculture”. The US and Japan are likely to supply $6-8 billion and the EU and Canada the rest.

The initiative may dampen criticism aimed at G8 states for failing to live up to commitments they made in Scotland in 2005 to halve world poverty and hunger by 2015. Since this announcement it is estimated a further 150 million people live in hunger, bringing the global total to more than one billion, says Tom Arnold chief executive of Concern. He said he welcomed the announcement, which mirrored many of the recommendations in the Hunger Task Force report commissioned by the Government.

The food security initiative represents a major shift in US policy. It is the world’s biggest food aid donor disbursing $2 billion per year to poor countries, much of which was provided by US farmers – a powerful lobby in Washington.

1 comment:

Dagmar Corales said...

The G8 is shifting their focus from food aid to agriculture... while long term solutions are good, to rape an old cliche: you can't teach a starving man to fish!

There is a need for short term hunger solutions too!

The world food program does this well with their purchase for progress:

By buying food aid locally, the feed the same local, the local economy and local agriculture.

It's a clever balance between filling the hungry gap, while investing in the future.

We need more projects like this!