Somewhere in the world, a child dies of hunger every five seconds — even though the planet has more than enough food for all. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon laid out this sobering statistic as he kicked off a three-day summit on world food security Monday in Rome.
“Today, more than 1 billion people are hungry,” he told the assembled leaders. Six million children die of hunger every year — 17,000 every day, he said. The summit opened with the leaders adopting a declaration to renew their commitment to eradicating hunger. They promised to do so by promoting investment, reversing the decline in funding for agriculture and tackling the effect of global warming on food security. Urgent action is critical, Ban said. In 2050, the world will need to feed 2 billion more mouths — 9.1 billion in all. The steps Ban proposed included providing farmers with seeds and land and offering them access to better markets and fairer trade.
“These small-holder farmers are the heart and soul of food security and poverty reduction,” he said. “Our job is not just to feed the hungry but to empower the hungry to feed themselves.
“The summit came under criticism even before it began, with some aid groups skeptical that it would accomplish much. The United Nations hopes that donors will go beyond affirming their support to end hunger and fulfill a promise they made during a Group of Eight meeting in July to increase food aid significantly.
Though more than 60 world leaders are at the summit, all but one of the G-8 leaders were absent. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Belusconi is hosting the gathering. The United States sent the head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, and Britain sent two ministers. During his speech, Ban also tied the global warming crisis to hunger eradication. …
On the average, 1 person dies every second as a result of hunger – 4000 every hour – 100 000 each day – 36 million each year – 58 % of all deaths (2001-2004 estimates). – wikipedia