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Minister Sargent calls for comprehensive global response to end world hunger - UN World Summit Rome 16-18 November 2009

Speaking at the World Food Summit in Rome, the Minister for Food and Horticulture, Trevor Sargent TD, called for an end to a "business as usual" approach to fighting world hunger.  Heads of States, Prime Ministers and Agriculture Ministers from across the globe are meeting in Rome to consider actions to combat the increasing levels of hunger worldwide, now reaching 1 billion people, which have been badly effected by the recent food price crises and the overall economic situation worldwide.

Noting Ireland's support for the UN High Level Task Force, set up to address the recent food price crisis, Minister Sargent stated that "countries must commit to a comprehensive global partnership, with a renewed approach to end hunger for good".  Throughout the world, hunger is increasing and one person in every six is now food insecure.  The current situation means the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals on poverty and hunger face complete failure.

Minister Sargent emphasised the need for long term solutions stating that "greater resources must be directed towards smallholder farmers and in particular towards women farmers".  Ireland views agricultural production and nutrition as major priorities for development aid programmes.  Minister Sargent highlighted the urgent challenge of climate change, noting that "achieving food security for all, while also dealing decisively with climate change is the great twin-challenge facing us all".

Note for Editors:
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations was founded in 1945 with a mandate to raise levels of nutrition and standards of living, to improve agricultural productivity, and to better the conditions of rural populations.  Since its inception, FAO has worked to alleviate poverty and hunger by promoting agricultural development, improved nutrition and the pursuit of food security.  FAO is one of the largest specialised agencies in the United Nations system and the lead agency for agriculture, forestry, fisheries and rural development. The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (DAFF) pay an annual subscription to support the work of FAO, which amounted to €1.6 million in 2009.  In addition to the annual subscription DAFF also provides additional extra budgetary funding to support particular FAO activities.   

Date Released: 17 November 2009