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FAO Chief appeals to Obama to help end hunger

Diouf urges US to call early World Food Summit

6 November 2008, Rome - FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf called today on US President-elect Barack Obama to make the eradication of world hunger a priority on his agenda and to host a World Summit on the issue in the first half of next year.

In a message congratulating Senator Obama on his election, Diouf said the United States should, "in the first semester of 2009, take a leadership role in convening a World Summit on Food Security in order to reach a wide and common consensus on the definitive elimination of hunger from the world".

Special window

Heightened awareness of the plight of 923 million hungry persons as a result of the ongoing global food and financial crises created a "special window of opportunity for such an initiative", Diouf said.

"The Summit must find US$30 billion per year to build and develop rural infrastructures and increase agricultural productivity in the developing world, particularly in low-income food-deficit countries, with a view to doubling production to ensure food security for a world population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050", Diouf continued.

"The Summit should also lay the basis for a new agricultural trade system offering farmers in developed and developing countries alike the chance to make a decent living", he added.

"We must use our intelligence and imagination to design policies to promote sustainable agricultural development based on fair international trade".