FAO launches French Alliance Against Hunger at Paris agriculture fair
Debates held on persistent hunger in a world of abundance
25 February 2005, Paris/Rome - At the invitation of the French Ministry of Agriculture, the FAO will be present again this year at the Paris agriculture fair (Salon international de l'agriculture), to be held from 26 February to 6 March 2005 at the Parc des expositions, Porte de Versailles, Paris.
Throughout the event, FAO experts and their partners at the French Alliance Against Hunger will take the floor every day at Stand 18 (hall 3 - alley H) to increase public awareness of the problem of hunger and poverty in a world of abundance.
A national cause
On the initiative of the Association française pour la FAO (AFFAO), the French Alliance Against Hunger was created on 9 December 2004. It is a network of institutional and private actors that have decided to pool their efforts against hunger and poverty in France and in the world.
The Alliance brings together humanitarian associations, consumer associations, environmental protection associations, ministries, academic institutions, public research centres, professional agricultural organizations, trade unions, political parties, local groups, private enterprises, the media and communication agencies.
Throughout the world, 852 million people suffer from hunger. In France, according to a recent enquiry by the National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies, Insee (on tax returns from 1996 to 2001), 6.1 % of the population still lives below the threshold of poverty.
The French Alliance Against Hunger aims to foster the exchange of experiences, to co-ordinate the pooling of competencies in specific projects and to inform public opinion with one voice for the fight against hunger to be more efficient and for it finally to become a national cause.
The members of the Alliance will be meeting visitors at the Salon to inform them on the activities of the NGOs, but also on the essential role of the agricultural associations, institutions, professionals, researchers and private enterprises.
An international initiative
This national Alliance forms an integral part of the International Alliance Against Hunger, launched in 2002 on the occasion of World Food Summit: five years later because the efforts to cut the number of undernourished people in the world by half by 2015 (objective set by the World Food Summit 1996) were still inadequate.
National alliances of this kind are currently being formed in 80 countries.
The agencies concerned with food and agriculture based in Rome - FAO, WFP (World Food Programme), IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development), IPGRI (International Plant Genetic Resources Institute) - actively support the International Alliance Against Hunger in collaboration with a network of national and international NGOs.
Also, with a view to motivating new commitments the French Alliance Against Hunger will be present on the stand to meet the public every day from 26 February to 6 March, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
On 1 March, at 3 p.m., exactly one year after President Chirac met the Directors of FAO, IFAD and WFP in Paris, following the joint declaration by Presidents Chirac (France), Lagos (Chile) and Lula (Brazil) and the Secretary General of the United Nations on 30 January 2004 in Geneva on action against hunger and poverty, the official launch of the French Alliance Against Hunger will be celebrated and the Internet site of the International Alliance Against Hunger will be inaugurated from the FAO stand, Porte de Versailles.
Information Officer, FAO
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