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Lauding G8 Resolve, UN Urges Steps To Help Hungry

[SEE ALSO: G8 LEADERS SUMMIT 2008 - SCOOP FULL COVERAGE]

Lauding G-8 resolve to tackle food crisis, UN urges practical steps to help hungry

10 July 2008 - Welcoming the commitment shown by the leaders of the Group of Eight (G-8) leading industrialized nations at their summit in Japan to combat the global food crisis, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has called for practical steps to alleviate hunger for millions around the globe.

"What we have seen at the G-8 summit is the resolve to help protect the poorest from the devastating effect of high food prices and to find long term solutions to the food crisis," said WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran.

"We need to follow through with practical measures that can make a real difference in addressing urgent hunger needs throughout the world," she added.

WFP has been calling for concerted global action to address the effects of high food prices on the poor, including un-earmarked donations that give the agency greater flexibility for procuring and pre-positioning food for the hungry, the lifting of export restrictions on all humanitarian food purchases, and urgent consideration of the possible need for humanitarian global grain reserves.

"We are living in unusual times, and this requires practical solutions now if we are going to confront the challenges we face," Ms. Sheeran stated. "The G-8 expressed resolve, which I welcome. Now comes the hard part: solving problems and reaching as many hungry people as possible in as sustainable a way as possible."

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who attended the summit in Hokkaido, Japan, has also welcomed the "strong commitment" of the G-8 to address the global food crisis in a Global Partnership for Food, facilitated and coordinated by the UN.

"The sense of urgency displayed by the G-8 in tackling the most immediate food, nutrition, and agricultural inputs needs of tens of millions of hungry people worldwide is encouraging," the Secretary-General said yesterday at the conclusion of the summit.

"However, the G-8 call on all Member States to contribute to this shared human responsibility must be accompanied by a strong willingness to tackle the underlying structural causes of this crisis with a similar sense of urgency," he added, emphasizing the need to significantly step up public and private investment into agriculture.

ENDS

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