29 October 2008


With the focus on the crisis affecting the world’s financial institutions, the plight of the world’s 923 million undernourished people highlighted in events marking the recent World Food Day continues to be largely ignored.

Everywhere the cost of food continues to rise. Changing weather patterns and the increasing demand for biofuels contribute to this problem which impacts most severely on the world’s poor.

In the face of this challenge, Jacques Diouf the Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) appealed to all countries to honour the commitments of support they had made to FAO projects, despite the global financial crisis.

He noted that at a summit held in Rome at the beginning of June, commitments were made to provide a total of $20 billion for the FAO to launch projects in 76 countries. To date only 10% of the funds have been delivered.

In a message to mark World Food Day, Pope Benedict XVI identified "national selfishness, unbridled speculation, corruption, consumerism and arms races" as being the underlying causes of world hunger.

He went on to point out that "the means and resources the world has at its disposal today could supply sufficient food to satisfy the growing needs of everyone," but that there was "a need to rediscover the value of the human person."

For more information on inequalities of food distribution,  the purpose, history and progress of the FAO, global undernourishment, climate change and food, future food systems click here

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