“Thank you so much. Thank you…”
With the leaders of several African nations watching, President Barack Obama said Friday that governments, private industries and organizations will work together to improve Africa’s food security.
“Today I can announce a new global effort-we are calling a new alliance for food security and nutrition. And to get the job done, we will bring together all the key players around a shared commitment.”
At a food security forum in Washington, the President said ending hunger by making African farms more productive is a moral imperative.
“Because of smart investments in nutrition, in agriculture and safety nets, millions of people in Kenya, in Ethiopia did not need the emergency aid in the recent draught. But when tens of thousands of children die from the agony of starvation as in Somalia, that sends us a message we still got a lot of work to do. It’s unacceptable. It’s an outrage . It’s an affront to who we are.”
The President spoke as he prepared to host the annual economic Summit of the Group of 8 leading industrialized nations at the Camp David’s presidential retreat outside Washington.
To emphasize the importance of food security, Mr. Obama invited leaders of the 4 Africa nations to attend the G8 Summit and to discuss the issue.
The President of Ghana, John Milles said, making food more plentiful would make societies more secure.
“When you talk about food security, nutritional security, you are at the same time talking about healthy security, economic stability, political stability. Now, without these elements, you will struggle with democracy.”
While some of the G8 countries are dealing with economic austerity, President Obama said the new alliance initiative would help to ease the burden on some governments.
“That’s what I meant by a new approach that challenges more nations, more organizations, more companies, more NGOs, challenges individuals some of the young people who are here to step up and play their role, because government can not and should not do this alone. This has to be all hands on deck.”
But Mr. Obama said private contributions can not take the place of the government commitment. He said the United States will continue to make what he called historical investments in development.
The new food initiative is intended to build on a 2009 food security effort that brought 22 billion dollars in pledges.