The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

James L. Phelan,
Senior External Relations Officer, ACF-USA

Contact James Phelan

Direct: 212-967-7800 x108

World Food Summit Neglects Millions of Children

Governments gathered in Rome offered no funding for childhood deaths from hunger


International diplomats assembled at this week's World Food Summit
in Rome failed yet again to take action on acute malnutrition, which
kills up to five million children in developing countries every year.
Despite initial pledges of $20 billion for agricultural assistance made
at the G8 Summit earlier this year, world leaders have not provided any
specific funding to address childhood malnutrition.

Action Against Hunger| ACF International expressed
regret today that the World Food Summit produced no concrete
commitments toward reducing the number of child deaths from
malnutrition. Although acute malnutrition is preventable and readily
curable, currently less than 10 percent of children can access

"As governments dither, millions of children are dying," said Nan
Dale, Executive Director of Action Against Hunger. "All that's needed
to bring proven methods to scale is political will, but that was in
short supply this week." Seven of the G8 leaders were absent from the
World Food Summit, which was convened by the UN Food and Agriculture

Last year Action Against Hunger treated some 400,000 children with
acute malnutrition, the deadliest form of hunger. The global
humanitarian organization has responded to recent childhood
malnutrition outbreaks in a number of countries, including the
Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, and the Central Africa Republic,
and runs prevention programs worldwide that reach some five million
people each year.

Action Against Hunger reiterates its call for world leaders to
prioritize malnutrition as part of ongoing efforts to address global
food insecurity by:

  1. Allocating specific funding to the detection, treatment and prevention of childhood malnutrition;
  2. Reflecting the importance of food safety nets in financial
    commitments. Safety nets help families afford a nutritious diet for
    their children and protect against shocks to food consumption;
  3. Creating international and national mechanisms to address
    malnutrition from a range of sectors, including agricultural
    development, health, water & sanitation, and nutrition; and
  4. Establishing an accountability mechanism to ensure commitments are leveraged into real action.

Action Against Hunger / Action Contre la Faim (ACF), an international relief and development organization committed to saving the lives of malnourished children and families, provides sustainable access to safe water and long-term solutions to hunger. For nearly three decades, ACF has pursued its vision of a world without hunger by combating hunger in emergency situations of conflict, natural disaster, and chronic food insecurity.