General News of Friday, 22 June 2012

Source: GNA

UN Secretary-General launches Zero Hunger Challenge campaign

The United Nations has launched “Zero Hunger Challenge” campaign to eradicate hunger globally.

The campaign has five objectives to achieve including 100% access to adequate food for all year round, zero stunted children less than two years, all food systems are sustainable everywhere, 100% increase in smallholder farmers productivity and income and zero loss or waste of food.

The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, who launched the campaign at the on-going UN Conference on Sustainable Development dubbed “RIO+20 Conference” in Rio de Janeiro, said almost one billion people still did not have enough to eat.

He said: “I want to see an end to hunger everywhere, within my lifetime.”

Mr. Ban Ki-Moon noted that he was not proposing a new goal, but only sharing his vision for the future.

“A future where food systems are resilient, where everyone enjoys their right to food,” the UN Secretary-General added.

He explained that when this was achieved, it would boost economic growth, reduce poverty and safeguard the environment, while fostering peace and stability.

Mr. Ban Ki-Moon called on governments, the business community, farmers, scientists, civil society and consumers to support the fight to end hunger.

Ms Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director of World Food Programme (WFP), said there was no sustainable development when billions of people lived in hunger and poverty.

She said women were at the heart of global food and nutrition, since they grow, process, sell and cook the bulk of food in many developing countries.

Ms Cousin called for the scaling up of social safety nets to protect and empower the most vulnerable in the community.

She noted that, “Rio+20 must reaffirm the eradication of hunger and under nutrition as a crucial global development goal in the post 2015 agenda.

Ms Cousin called for stronger partnership to address the challenges of hunger and ensure inclusive development.**