14 May 2003 Rome -- Michel Camdessus, Honorary Governor of the Bank of France and former Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Tuesday called for long-term assistance from developed countries and long-term policies from developing countries to tackle the roots of hunger and poverty.

Speaking to the Committee on World Food Security, meeting at UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) headquarters, Mr. Camdessus stressed the importance of clean water and said that an increase of $100 billion a year was needed to bring safe water to the 1.1 billion people who now do without.

Mr. Camdessus said that primary responsibility for bringing safe, clean water to people in the developing world rests with the developing countries themselves and that the most important thing developing countries can do is to have a water policy. He urged developing countries to report publicly on how they intend to achieve the Millennium Development Goals adopted by UN member states in 2000 and urged them to establish transparent governance.

He had this advice for developed countries: official development assistance for water needs to be doubled, and it needs to be carefully targeted to the poor. Mr. Camdessus called FAO's Special Programme for Food Security "an excellent example" of carefully targeted development assistance.

"We may have lost a battle against hunger," Mr. Camdessus said, "but we have not lost the war. We have available many resources and strategies we have not used sufficiently, so far."

He cited the "amazing potential of research" and the untapped potential of more decisive participation by women in all decision-making processes regarding food and the Millennium Development Goals.

Mr. Camdessus repeated the call by French President Jacques Chirac for developed countries to adopt a moratorium on export subsidies on goods destined for Africa for the duration of the Doha round of World Trade Organization agriculture negotiations.

Publication-quality photographs may be instantly downloaded from the following address: ftp://ext-ftp.fao.org/GI/Giii/CSFphotos
(Credit: FAO/G. Diana)
John Riddle
Information Officer, FAO
[email protected]
(+39) 06 570 53259