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High-level meeting proposes bold goal: end hunger in Africa by 2025

Kelsen Fernandes

Addis Ababa, 1 July 2013 – FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva called on African leaders to commit to the eradication of hunger by 2025, building on the successes of 11 African countries that have already reached the Millennium Development Goal One hunger-target.

“These countries are an inspiration for all of us. Now that they have charted the course, we must ride this wave of progress. This high-level meeting is considering an even bolder goal: to eradicate hunger in Africa by 2025. The political commitment of governments, the full backing of society, and the support, as needed, of the development community are central elements to make this happen,” said Graziano das Silva at the opening of the high level meeting on food security in Africa, co-organized by the African Union, FAO and the Lula Institute.

With the participation of African leaders, non-state actors and international development partners, the meeting is contributing to strengthening political will, stimulate the coordination of actions to fight hunger, promoting in the framework of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Plan (CAADP).

 “The political commitment of governments, the full backing of society, and the support, as needed, of the development community are central elements to make this happen. And FAO is ready to rally behind African leadership to meet this goal,” added Graziano da Silva.

Investing in people

Opening the meeting, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, highlighted the importance of an integral approach to fight hunger and of investing in people.

“Ending hunger and malnutrition is about investing in Africa’s most import asset, its people – through health, education, science, technology, research and innovation, and meeting basic needs such as food security, clean water and sanitation, shelter and affordable energy,” said Zuma.

The African Union Commission Chairperson also highlighted the role of women and youth for food security in the region.

A common effort

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva stressed the importance of widespread participation in the fight against hunger and linking different actions. “To end hunger we need to articulate the different policies, we need the strong participation of society as a whole, and we need the leaders with the courage to make decisions and to act,” said Lula da Silva.

He added that the need to put the poor at the center of government policy. “Programs to fight hunger and poverty need to be a state Policy to have lasting results.”