Friday, November 13, 2009

UN food summit next week

Next week, the United Nations hosts a food summit. Ahead of the gathering officials are preparing a statement that will be ratified by Nation's members.

The draft of the document makes promises for all nations to make combating hunger a priority. Humanitarian aid groups say that the language within the draft is not tough enough.

From this Associated Press article that is hosted at Google News, writer Ariel David took a peek at the document.

A draft declaration for next week's U.N. food summit would commit world leaders to a new hunger-fighting strategy by pledging to increase agricultural development aid to help the world's 1 billion hungry people feed themselves.

However, the draft obtained Thursday by The Associated Press does not include a 2025 deadline for eradicating hunger, a goal sought by the United Nations.

Also missing are specific money commitments, such as the $44 billion in yearly agricultural aid that the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization says will be necessary in the coming decades.

Hunger now affects a record 1.02 billion people globally — or one in six — with the financial meltdown, high food prices, drought and war blamed for recent increases, the FAO says.

Humanitarian groups said, however, that the document was weak, and that the three-day Rome summit starting Monday could fail if world leaders don't allocate new resources and come up with mechanisms to hold governments to their commitments.

Under the draft, developed countries would "commit to a crucial, decisive shift" that aims to "substantially increase the share" of aid invested in agriculture to help the world's poor become less dependent on direct food assistance.

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