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Summits Alone Won't Feed the Hungry, Aid Agency Says
Date:9/22/2009

-- World Vision calls on U.S. Congress, G20 leaders to push forward commitments to end hunger

-- Climate change also affecting food security; global leaders must provide adequate funding to help poor communities adapt

PITTSBURGH, Sept. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As world leaders gather at the United Nations and G20 meetings this week, the future of the $20 billion food security initiative first proposed at July's G8 summit remains uncertain, say aid policy experts at Christian humanitarian agency World Vision.

"Earlier this year, G8 leaders made a $20 billion promise to the poor to improve access to food over the next three years," said Robert Zachritz, World Vision's director for advocacy and government relations in the U.S. "We commend the efforts of the Obama administration and other leaders in building global momentum to end hunger -- but we can't stop here. Summits alone won't feed the hungry. These leaders must follow through and put this proposal into action with solid policies and guaranteed funding."

Most G20 countries, the African Union Commission and several multilateral organizations endorsed the World Hunger Initiative's comprehensive approach to hunger and malnutrition, announced at the Group of Eight summit in L'Aquila, Italy. Leaders must now garner domestic support within each country to implement the plan, a global commitment of $20 billion over three years, including a $3.5 billion pledge from the U.S. for food security.

U.S. lawmakers can do their part by passing the Global Food Security Act of 2009 and the Roadmap to End Hunger to promote coordination of short-, medium- and long-term solutions to food insecurity. This includes development of agriculture, rural infrastructure and economies, as well as improving emergency responses, according to World Vision, a relief and development organization working in 100 countries.

"The U.S. contribution to its own initiative will fall flat unless Congress takes up the charge and passes the bills that make it happen," Zachritz said. "To deliver on the proposal, both parties in the House and Senate will have to reach an accord with the White House, and for that, cooperation must be robust."

World Vision calls on developing and industrialized countries alike to make firm commitments toward ending the global food insecurity that has pushed nearly 1 billion people worldwide into hunger. About one in six people suffer from hunger every day, while malnutrition is a factor in a third of all childhood deaths and stunts the growth and development of many young children.

Leaders debating environmental policies this week must also consider the impact of climate change on food security for the poor.

Altered weather patterns and more frequent natural disasters are already making families less secure in their access to food, and fueling struggles over scarce resources. World Vision urges lawmakers to form policies and pass climate-change legislation this year that includes adequate funding to help poor communities adapt to its effects.

For interviews, contact: Geraldine Ryerson-Cruz at +1.202.615.2608 or gryerson@worldvision.org.

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. Visit worldvision.org/press.


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SOURCE World Vision U.S.
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