Non-Profit Advocates for Women Farmers at Major International Food Security Conference
NEW YORK - Since 2006, the number of undernourished people
in the world has risen from 852 million to 963 million, due primarily to 2008's
world food price crisis. In an effort to "design a road map" to reverse this
alarming trend and achieve global food security, the Government of Spain and
the United Nations hosted the "High Level Meeting on Food Security for All" on
January 26-27 in Madrid. The Hunger Project, a non-profit organization which
works with grassroots people in the developing world to create their own, sustainable
strategies for ending their own hunger, participated in this meeting along with
governments, the private sector and civil society from more than 125 countries.
At the conference, The Hunger Project and several other civil society
organizations underscored the need for the world community to dramatically
increase support for small-scale farmers, with a majority of that support going
to women. Women grow the majority of the food used for household consumption
in the developing world, yet only a small fraction of foreign aid reaches them.
In the conference's final statement, it was recognized
that "the special problems faced by...female small farmers need to be
addressed effectively" and that it was important to include "marginalized and
excluded men, women, and children and indigenous groups in this process, giving
them voice so that their views are prioritized when analyzing the problems, searching
for viable solutions and implementing them."
Mrs. Åsa Skogström
conference participant and Country Director of The Hunger Project-Sweden, remarks
that "It is mainly women who run family
farms and their needs and priorities must be recognized. It is encouraging that
the special needs of women in the developing world were recognized at the Madrid meeting."
says that at the Madrid
meeting, "The Hunger Project was the voice of people living in chronic hunger
and poverty who rely on the food they grow for sustenance. People do not want
to get handouts. They want to be empowered to get in charge of their own
future. Food and nutrition are not only major issues in their own right, but are
also closely interlinked with all the other Millennium Development Goals.""
Jill Lester, President and CEO of The Hunger Project, comments
"that to ensure food security, rural communities must be empowered to become
resilient and self-reliant. Women hold the key to sustainable rural development
and action is needed now if further crises are to be averted."
The Hunger Project works in countries in Africa, South Asia and Latin America to end hunger and extreme poverty. Hunger
Project programs focus on three essential elements for integrated, sustainable
development: mobilizing people at the grassroots level to build self-reliance;
empowering women as key change agents; and forging effective partnerships with
local government. For more information about The Hunger Project please visit www.thp.org.
For more information about the Madrid
meeting please www.ransa2009.org.
To interview Jill Lester or Åsa Skogström Feldt regarding The
Hunger Project's participation in Madrid
conference or views on issues pertaining to food security, please contact Anastasia
Andrzejewski at 212-251-9129 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The Hunger Project is a global, non-profit, strategic organization committed to the sustainable end of world hunger.