Wednesday, March 08, 2006

5 billion dollars could end hunger

LONDON (Reuters) - Hunger and starvation among African children could be eliminated for $5 billion (2.9 billion pounds), the head of the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters after a trip to drought-hit eastern Africa, WFP executive director James Morris said getting children fed and into schools was the most powerful investment Africa could make for its future.

"We could eliminate hunger among children in Africa for $5 billion," said Morris....
Tens of billions of dollars of aid has been poured into Africa in the past 45 years but the continent remains the poorest on the planet. The bottom 24 countries in the U.N.'s human development index last year were all in Africa.

Western countries blame poor governance and corruption for the lack of improvement in living standards in Africa, despite the huge sums of aid.

Morris, battling with rival agencies to raise money from donor nations to fund WFP campaigns, said the only way to transform Africa was to transform the people there....

Facing increased competition for aid money, WFP has said in the past donors should adopt a "food first" policy, fighting hunger and malnutrition before putting development aid into infrastructure projects such a roads and ports.

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