A New Approach to Fighting World Hunger
World leaders attended a food summit in Rome on Monday in order to develop a new strategy to combat global hunger and assist poor countries in feeding themselves. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization had hoped for countries to commit to a $44 billion a year in agricultural aid as well as aiming to eradicate hunger by 2025. Instead, the declaration at the summit was a pledge to halve the number of hungry people by 2015 and there was no commitment to a specific figure for aid.
Part of the problem has been in the past method of providing "aid" to poor countries. Wealthy nations sending food assistance rather than technology or irrigation help is part of the issue. Additionally, these foods are usually purchased from farmers within wealthy nations. The FAO insists that the best way to help the poor "is to help the needy help themselves."
Empowering the hungry to feed themselves is getting at the core of the problem of food security. The shift towards more aid in agriculture and development comes from a more focused effort of sustainability and cooperation between international groups. The goal, in the end, is to enable the hungry to help themselves so that will one day be able to support themselves.
Here is a link to the N.Y. times article on this issue: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2009/11/16/world/AP-EU-UN-FoodSummit.html?scp=2&sq=&st=nyt