22 July 2003, Rome -- The
World Food Day/TeleFood theme for 2003 is International
Alliance Against Hunger, to emphasize the need for
global mobilization to create the political will to eradicate
hunger, FAO announced today.
is it possible in this day and age that so many of our fellow
human beings remain hungry?" said Dr Jacques Diouf, FAO
Director-General. "Nations must turn verbal commitments
to fight hunger into practical programmes."
An international alliance against hunger will bring
together the strengths of different groups all over the world to
gain momentum to achieve the common goal of eliminating hunger
in all its forms, FAO says.
alliance would include all partners working in concert: food
producers, consumers, international organizations, governments,
private firms, scientists, academics, individuals, religious
groups and non-governmental organizations. It would also include
donors and policy-makers from both rich and poor countries.
"Political will is a must to
achieve the goal of the World Food Summit. Nations will need to
work harder to create the policy environment, provide the
funding and implement the programmes to allow people to fight
hunger and poverty," says Eva Clayton, FAO Assistant
Director-General and Special Advisor to the Director-General,
responsible for World Food Summit follow-up.
The World Food Summit goal
At the 1996 World Food Summit in Rome,
representatives of 185 nations and the European Community set a
goal of cutting the number of hungry people by half by 2015.
Some 840 million people still suffer from
hunger and malnutrition in a world of plenty. Hunger causes
illness and death, robs people of their potential to work and
cripples children's learning capacity.
Each year on 16 October, since 1981, FAO has
celebrated World Food Day in commemoration of its founding on
that day in 1945 in Quebec City. World Food Day is observed in
more than 150 countries.
public-awareness and fund-raising campaign including television
shows and other special events organized by FAO, coincides with
World Food Day to heighten attention to global hunger and to
focus attention on achieving food security for all.
The theme of World Food Day/TeleFood 2003 is taken
from the final Declaration of the World Food Summit: five years
later held in June 2002 in Rome. In this Declaration, Heads of
State and Government or their representatives from 179 countries
and the European Community renewed their global commitments made
at the World Food Summit and called on all parties "to
reinforce their efforts so as to act as an international
alliance against hunger."
What is the International Alliance?
The International Alliance Against Hunger
will strengthen political commitment for existing initiatives.
It will help partners to develop a common vision. It will also
provide a forum for advocacy, promote joint actions and
facilitate information exchange through Web sites, newsletters
and progress reports, according to FAO.
the International Alliance Against Hunger takes shape, leaders
in an increasing number of countries are putting the fight
against hunger at the forefront of national priorities. They
realize that only well-fed people can take part effectively in
their country's economic and social development.
FAO believes that these efforts, together with
national initiatives, are just the beginning of an expanding
network of alliances dedicated to fighting hunger more
"Hopefully, by 16
October 2003, many countries will have effectively launched
their National Alliances against hunger," indicates Eva
Several developing countries are
establishing National Alliances. Among them Brazil, which is
implementing the Zero Hunger Programme, Colombia, Ghana,
Honduras, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Panama, Sierra Leone, Sudan and
"There is much assistance
that FAO needs to provide to developing countries tohelp them in
establishing effective alliances," according to Ms
Among the developed countries,
the United States has initiated the establishment of an Alliance
Against Hunger, while a few others are building coalitions with
non-governmental organizations concerned with food security
Information Officer, FAO