FAO’s Director General recently called for “adequate and predictable funding” to combat the food crisis in the Horn of Africa. Other organizations have also devoted attention to the issue of aid dollars going towards the drought and famine in Africa. USAID has set up a Famine, War, Drought (FWD) relief website to facilitate donations. The ONE campaign took an infographics approach to analyzing national contributions to the aid effort.
The Society for International Development’s Food Security and Agriculture Workgroup held a seminar last Tuesday that addressed the intersection between water resources and food security. The panel of three experts discussed the state of water resources, how to stimulate farmer innovation in water management, and technologies and practices that can achieve necessary water savings.
Robert Winterbottom, director of ecosystem services at the World Resources Institute, painted an optimistic picture of the future of water management and food security. He advocated for a landscape approach, saying
“We are not going to make progress in terms of long-term food security unless we start dealing with the water resource management issues as well, and how they relate to the overall agroecosystem. I think that was one of the big missing pieces in the early efforts.”
The International Water Management Institute and United Nations Environment Programme also stressed this message in a recent report.
Let the cameras roll! The Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture is inviting students to submit videos about fighting childhood hunger. With over 16 million children in the U.S. living in food-insecure households in 2010, this is no small undertaking. The videos should address the key question: what are you doing to end childhood hunger in your community?
Enter the Ending Childhood Hunger Video Contest by October 21.
World leaders will meet today at a summit in New York on the Horn of Africa crisis. The meeting will address how to improve assistance to more than 13 million people suffering from drought and famine, and build long-term resilience to prevent similar future crises. Watch live from 10:00 am New York time: http://bit.ly/oVXXbp.
This spring, the USDA released a mapping tool to locate “food deserts”, usually characterized as areas lacking access to healthy food. One solution that has been offered to address the abundance of junk foods and lack of fresh fruits and vegetables is to bring in “big-box” stores with grocery facilities. But a recent study by two researchers at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health indicates that greater supermarket availability does not necessarily correspond to improved diets and health.
Dr. Janne Boone-Heinonen, one of the study’s authors, will present her research and the implications for healthy food access for underserved populations at a webinar hosted by Healthy Food Action, a project of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, on Tuesday, September 26, at 1pm EDT.
The anti-poverty advocacy group ONE today announced a new campaign to address the famine in Somalia and the wider crisis in the Horn of Africa.
The new campaign, “Drought is Inevitable. Famine is Not,” will feature grassroots organizing, social media tactics, innovative marketing products and political lobbying to increase awareness of the crisis and press G8, G20 and African governments to immediately meet their share of the $1 billion gap in emergency funding and invest in long-term agriculture development programmes to boost farm productivity and better prepare farmers in poor countries to withstand natural shocks, such as droughts.
ONE also announced today that a group of prominent African artists, musicians and business people have called on world leaders to take urgent action to prevent further suffering and loss of life in the Horn of Africa, ahead of a UN mini-summit on the crisis in New York this Saturday.
Forest policies from Rwanda, the United States and Gambia took the top honors in the 2011 Future Policy Award.
Rwanda’s National Forest Policy was crowned best in the world, with silver medals going to the US Lacey Act amendment of 2008, which prohibits all trade in illegally sourced wood and plant products, and Gambia’s FAO-supported Community Forestry Policy, the first in Africa to provide local populations with secure and permanent forest ownership rights.
The awards ceremony was held at the Central Park Zoo in New York, sponsored by the World Future Council in collaboration with FAO and other UN and environmental partners.
“I kind of know about awards, I’ve had a few myself and I think it’s much more important that we talk about this award because it affects everyone,” said FAO Goodwill Ambassador Carl Lewis at a press conference at UN headquarters in New York earlier in the day. In his athletic career, Lewis won 10 Olympic medals, nine of them gold.
Monday’s UN High-Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) highlighted the importance of linking agriculture, nutrition and the chronic diseases that plague millions. Annually responsible for 63% of deaths worldwide, NCDs such as heart disease, lung disease, cancer and diabetes are prevalent not only in affluent countries but also in a growing number of middle- and low-income nations. One of the motivations for pursuing a food- and agriculture-based approach to confronting NCDs is the sheer cost of treating them. Between now and 2030, it is estimated that $30 trillion will be needed to treat patients with these diseases.
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs has published a new report that examines how agriculture and food policy can prevent chronic disease. Bringing Agriculture to the Table calls for action at the local, national and international levels to ensure that affordable, diverse and healthy food is produced and available to consumers.
Read the press release for more details.