We have done what previous generations could never have dreamed of doing.
At the Millennium Summit sponsored by the United Nations Organisation in New York in 2000 over 200 world leaders signed the Millennium Declaration which highlights the first Millennium Development Goal of reducing by half the proportion of people who suffer from hunger.
Hunger is one problem we can actually solve. We can end hunger; we have the means. Hunger is as much a cause as a consequence of the poverty that keeps families in a vicious cycle from one generation to the next.
The UN Development Program estimates that the basic health and nutritional needs of the poorest people throughout the world could be met with a budget of US$13 billion a year.
(Animal lovers in Europe and the USA spend more than that on pet food each year).
What makes the difference between millions of hungry people and a world where all are fed? Only a change of priorities; only the will to end hunger.
And yet, if we are so advanced, why is it that 820 million people still do not have enough food to meet their basic nutritional needs? Just 3,500 calories are needed by a person to live adequately for a day.
While in many countries obesity is a problem, people in other countries do not get enough to sustain life. Even developed countries cannot boast of being completely free from hunger.
Hunger strikes deep in forty one countries of the world. Thirty three of them are in Africa south of the Sahara where 186 million people live undernourished.
The persistent hunger suffered by millions in a world of plenty is widely recognised as an affront to humanity.
The leaders of the world assembled in Rome in 1996 for the World Food Summit declared it intolerable and unacceptable, and pledged themselves to eradicate hunger.
They decided to cut by half the number of the hungry people throught the world, with a target date of 2015.
Now, seven years later, the number of undernourished has been reduced by less than half the rate needed to reach the summit goal. ID2048