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.”

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