World’s hungry look to G8 to keep promises

WASHINGTON (May 17, 2012) — Leaders from the Group of Eight nations meeting at Camp David on May 18-19 must commit to concrete, time-bound goals on reducing poverty, malnutrition and hunger, and deliver on previous food security pledges, said leading NGO alliance InterAction.

“Rich economies will ultimately recover, but many stunted and malnourished children will not. There needs to be sustained political will on behalf of all governments, especially during difficult economic times when the poor are further marginalized,” said Samuel A. Worthington, president of InterAction, which represents 198 U.S.-based international NGOs. Jesuit Refugee Service/USA is a member of InterAction.

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Obama pledge welcomed, G8 nations need to deliver

WASHINGTON (May 18, 2012) — Leading NGO alliance InterAction welcomes an announcement by President Barack Obama on Friday that the Group of Eight  nations will commit to a new food security alliance during talks in Camp David this weekend and  urges G8 nations to follow through on previous promises. Jesuit Refugee Service/USA is a member of InterAction.

InterAction President Samuel A. Worthington, offered these comments after the announcement, which was made at an event hosted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs in Washington D.C.

“We applaud the goal to lift 50 million people out of poverty over the next 10 years via a new alliance which includes the private sector, foundations, governments and civil society.

“A billion people go to bed hungry every day and a challenge of this magnitude requires a new approach. But any partnership with the private sector must not be a substitute for governments meeting previous obligations, such as those agreed in 2009 at the G8 summit in L’Aquila when $22 billion was pledged in agricultural and food security assistance.

“These funds need to be delivered and not just promised. We urge the United States to continue its leadership role in encouraging other members of the G8 not to renege on their promises and to prioritize investments that improve nutrition and specifically target small-scale farmers, particularly women who form the backbone of agriculture in many developing nations.

“There also needs to be a strong commitment to include civil society from the outset, both in the design, implementation and evaluation of programs. The assurance that assistance will be directly aligned behind country plans is also welcome as well as a commitment to improve nutrition and reduce childhood stunting. Concrete goals need to be set to reduce childhood stunting by 40 percent globally in the next decade with a target of eliminating childhood stunting for 15 million young children by the end of 2015.”

Ecuador

In Esmeraldas, Ecuador to meet with SJR Ecuador staff and visit with refugees who fled the violence of Colombia for refuge in Ecuador.

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Accompanying the Returned

Heading up the Rio Calima Thursday morning with @SJRCOLUMBIA and @SJRLAC to visit returned communities.

The two AfroColombian communities and a community of indigenous people fled when armed groups, part of Colombia’s 50-year conflict, moved into their lands.

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Read more about the visit soon on jrsusa.org

Buenaventura

Meetings today with staff of Jesuit Refugee Service Colombia and the UN to discuss internal displacement in the Pacific regions of Colombia.

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Lake Calima

In the Andean foothills on the road to Buenaventura…

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Jesuit Refugee Service accompanies displaced residents of Soacha

Soacha is a city of one million people located directly south of Colombia’s capital of Bogota. More than 30,000 people in Soacha are officially classified as displaced, but the actual number is likely much higher. The process of registering as ‘displaced’ is laborious, and many wind up registering in Bogota while still living in Soacha.

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Soacha, Colombia.

Jesuit Refugee Service Colombia serves the people of Soacha by advocating for better access to education and health care, advising and accompanying them in their quest for better government representation, and by providing training in sustainable farming.

Read more and see more photos and videos from Colombia in the coming weeks on the Jesuit Refugee Service/USA website.

Listen to the audio right now by clicking here.