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 Summit website