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Forum Nutr. 2003;56:375-9.

Food security in a world without borders.

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Economic and Social Department, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.


The alleviation of poverty and the eradication of hunger and malnutrition are within reach. Considerable progress has been made over the past thirty years in reducing the numbers of the hungry, and projections over the next thirty years suggest that this progress will continue. The majority of developing countries have participated in this progress and have improved nutrition but there are significant regional differences. The current challenge is to build upon and accelerate the progress already made. Everyone is involved in this struggle against hunger and malnutrition, and to achieve these goals, global partnerships to enhance co-operation and co-ordination are being strengthened. Successful country experiences for improving food security and nutrition have demonstrated the importance of peace, political stability, and stable economic growth. There is also the need for increased foreign investment and increased ODA, particularly for African agriculture, debt relief, the better integration of LDCs in the global economy, their more secure access to markets and more equitable terms of trade, enhanced South-South co-operation, training and research and new high-yield and drought-resistant crop varieties. While all these have been commented on and recognised before, we must close the credibility gap in our political will by honouring our existing commitments for providing tangible benefits at the local level. For globalisation, the key issue is how the aggregate benefits of globalisation will be distributed and how to translate this into better nutrition. The LDCs, which are the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of the international community, should be at the centre of this drive towards food security and take genuine ownership of policies, initiatives and activities to improve development. At the same time we need to succeed in making the developed world more aware of and responsive to the conditions of the LDCs. The most effective way to improve nutrition is through community nutrition programmes that encourage the full participation and co-operation of the entire community, maximise the utilisation of local resources, grasp the benefits of new technologies for productivity gains, involve multiple sectors and engage strong political commitment. The international community will be judged by its treatment of its most vulnerable members. The international community has repeatedly declared that it is dedicated to the eradication of poverty. Eliminating hunger and malnutrition is a vital first step. The political will to fight hunger and a firm commitment to invest in agriculture' and rural development are critical elements in any effort to achieve sustainable alleviation of hunger and poverty. This meeting and the WFS:FYL provide the additional impetus to meet the challenge of achieving food and nutritional security in a world without borders and free from hunger and malnutrition.

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