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U.N.-Organized Meeting On Food Security In Africa Held In Addis Ababa

“More than 150 representatives of civil society, the private sector and the farming industry met over the weekend in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to establish partnerships to guarantee food security in Africa during a United Nations-organized meeting,” the U.N. News Centre reports. “We hope that this meeting will help us to coordinate and mobilize further our common efforts to promote food security,” U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva said on Saturday at the meeting, the news service writes, adding, “Graziano da Silva said that increasing food production is not enough to end hunger because the main cause of food insecurity is insufficient access to the resources needed to produce food or to income to buy it” (7/1). “Subsistence agriculture must be abolished if African countries want to eradicate hunger by 2025, the former president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, told [the meeting] on Sunday,” according to The Guardian. “In a rousing speech to open [the conference], Lula said Africa could end hunger if there was enough political will to embed the needs of poor people in national policy,” the newspaper writes.

“The conference was convened by the FAO, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development and the Lula Institute under the banner Toward African renaissance: renewed partnership for a unified approach to end hunger in Africa by 2025,” The Guardian notes. The meeting ended “on Monday with a declaration apparently designed to get greater political commitment to improve agricultural productivity and address underlying social factors that contribute to poor nutrition, such as lack of access to health care and credit,” the newspaper writes. “The declaration will reaffirm government commitments, including the 2003 Maputo declaration, and encourage more partnerships between governments, the private sector and civil society,” and “[i]t includes reducing the need for food aid within 10 years, eliminating stunting among children under five, doubling productivity of staple crops within five to 10 years, and contributing to the African trust fund for food security, launched at an FAO conference in Brazzaville last year,” The Guardian states (Ford, 7/1).