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Italy’s Prime Minister Calls For Increased Cooperation On Food Security; E.U., FAO Announce New Efforts Against Hunger

In an address to the 68th U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday, Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta “called for greater local and global action to overcome food insecurity,” the U.N. News Centre reports. He “noted that the eight anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have made ‘tangible improvements’ but that one in eight people worldwide still suffer from malnutrition,” the news service writes (9/25). “Letta said that the 2015 Expo, or world’s fair, in Milan should be a springboard for global initiatives, floating the idea that a multilateral pact might be reached there,” the Wall Street Journal notes. “The Milan Expo, whose slogan is ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life,’ aims to draw 20 million visitors interested in issues linked to sustainability,” the newspaper writes, adding, “The event should be seized upon to create a Milan Protocol, modeled on the Kyoto Protocol of the late 1990s that covers environmental issues, with nutritional education, sustainable farming practices and food waste as its cardinal points, according to the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition, a think tank backed by Barilla SpA, the pasta maker” (Emsden, 9/25). “In addition, the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) are based in Rome,” the U.N. News Centre notes (9/25).

Also on Wednesday, “the European Union and the [FAO] announced they would step up efforts to reduce hunger in six countries before 2015 through agricultural development activities worth nearly €60 million [$81 million],” the U.N. News Centre reports in another article. “Some two million people will be reached through the joint initiative in Burundi, Burkina Faso, the Gambia, Haiti, Madagascar, and Mozambique,” the news service notes (9/25). “The funding comes from a €1 billion E.U. initiative that aims to foster speedier progress towards the [MDGs],” an FAO press release adds (9/25).