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Ban, Clinton Call For Increased Food Security Efforts

At a meeting on Saturday of “leaders, ministers, experts and non-governmental organizations from nearly 100 countries,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for greater urgency in the fight against hunger, Agence France-Presse reports. According to Ban, 2009 has seen an increase in malnutrition rates around the world (9/26).

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton joined Ban in leading the charge for more action on food security, “[c]alling chronic hunger and the unrest it can spark ‘one of the most urgent threats facing our world,'” the Associated Press/Washington Post reports. Clinton, who said that efforts should focus as much on aid as on food production, added, “This is an issue that affects all of us because food security is about economic, environmental and national security for individual homelands and the world” (Lee, 9/26).

According to Ban, one billion people are hungry despite there being enough food to feed the world, the Times of India reports. “Ever more people are denied the food they need because prices are stubbornly high, because their purchasing power has fallen due to the economic crisis or because rains have failed and reserve stocks of grain have been eaten,” Ban said.

The call from Ban and Clinton followed a G8 commitment of $20 billion in July to help support food security. According to the Times of India, G8 laid out the following principles: “the need to invest in country-led plan[s], addressing the causes of hunger by investing in research (better seeds, insurance programs for small farmers), improve co-ordination at every level, leverage the benefits of multilateral institutions to support and help fulfill the country plans and finally pledge a long-term commitment based on accountability” (9/27).

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