Ministers welcome timely report on world hunger and its calls for greater international action
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheál Martin, T.D., and the Minister of State for Overseas Development, Peter Power, T.D., welcomed the presentation of Ireland’s Hunger Task Force report at the United Nations in New York today. The report was presented to the Taoiseach by the Chairperson of the Hunger Task Force, Mr Joe Walsh, in the presence of the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and members of the Task Force including Bono and economist, Jeffrey Sachs.
Speaking after the presentation, Minister Martin remarked:
"This report, which the Government commissioned even before the current food crisis hit the international headlines, is particularly timely. In clear unambiguous language it spells out the causes and consequences of chronic hunger, acknowledges both the successes and failures of the global community in addressing hunger and sets out the actions necessary if hunger is to be reduced and eradicated. I warmly welcome it. And it does not make for comfortable reading."
"The report challenges us all, at government and non-government level, to reinvigorate our efforts and once and for all eradicate one of the key manifestations of global poverty namely hunger. We in Ireland will play our part."
The Minister of State for Overseas Development, Peter Power commented:
"Ireland is taking a global leadership role on world hunger. I share the view of our Hunger Task Force that in relation to hunger - enough is enough. I am glad that this important report is being presented today at the United Nations, as leaders of the world meet to take stock of efforts to halve poverty by 2015.
Ireland already provides a high level of support for agricultural development, research and in responding to food crises in many parts of the world through the Irish Aid programme. However we, along with other donors, need to critically examine our contributions and our strategy to ensure we are achieving maximum impact. The 860 million people in the world who are undernourished today deserve no less."
Note to Editors
The Hunger Task Force was established in 2007 to examine the particular contribution that Ireland could make to tackling the root causes of food insecurity, particularly in Africa. It is made up of national and international experts in the areas of hunger and food security.
The report highlights the threat hunger poses; over 860 million people remain undernourished; almost 3.5 million child deaths are caused by hunger and malnutrition and almost 30% of children under five in sub-Saharan Africa are underweight. To respond to these challenges the Report recommends a focus on increasing agricultural productivity, with a particular emphasis on women who make up 80% of African farmers, a focus on the prevention of maternal and infant undernutrition and an increased priority given at a national and international level to fighting hunger.
More information on the Task Force, including its composition, can be found at:
25 September 2008