WORLD SUMMIT ON FOOD SECURITY - ROME 16-18 November 2009
Why a World Food Summit in 2009?
The global food insecurity situation has worsened and continues to represent a serious threat for humanity. With food prices remaining stubbornly high in developing countries, the number of people suffering from hunger has been growing relentlessly in recent years. The global economic crisis is aggravating the situation by affecting jobs and deepening poverty. FAO estimates that the number of hungry people could increase by a further 100 million in 2009 and pass the one billion mark.
FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf has proposed a World Summit on Food Security to agree key actions to tackle this crisis. He comments:
“The silent hunger crisis — affecting one sixth of all of humanity — poses a serious risk for world peace and security. We urgently need to forge a broad consensus on the total and rapid eradication of hunger in the world.”
An agenda for action
Poor countries need the development, economic and policy tools required to boost their agricultural production and productivity. Investment in agriculture must be increased because for the majority of poor countries a healthy agricultural sector is essential to overcome hunger and poverty and is a pre-requisite for overall economic growth. The gravity of the current food crisis is the result of 20 years of under-investment in agriculture and neglect of the sector. Directly or indirectly, agriculture provides the livelihood for 70 percent of the world's poor.
The key challenges
- To eradicate hunger from the earth. Not only to ensure sufficient food production to feed a world population that will grow by 50 percent and reach 9 billion by 2050, but also find ways to guarantee that everyone has access to the food they need for an active and healthy life.
- To put in place a more coherent and effective system of governance of food security at both national and international levels.
- To make sure developing countries have a fair chance of competing in world commodity markets and that agricultural support policies do not unfairly distort international trade.
- To find ways to ensure that farmers in both developed and developing countries can earn incomes comparable to those of secondary and tertiary sector workers in their respective countries.
- To mobilize substantial additional public and private sector investments in agriculture and rural infrastructure and ensure farmers’ access to modern inputs to boost food production and productivity in the developing world, particularly in low-income and food-deficit countries.
- Considering that 30 or more countries are currently experiencing food emergencies, to agree more effective mechanisms for early reaction to food crises.
- To ensure that countries are prepared to adapt to climate change and mitigate negative effects.
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