World Vision praises Obama, G8 on food relief pledges

Leading international Christian humanitarian organization World Vision was pleased with President Barack Obama’s leadership in securing funds for African food relief at the G8 summit and is challenging countries, including the United States, to follow through on its promises. A total of $20 billion was pledged, including $3.5 billion from the U.S. “We welcome President Obama’s lead on this issue and the renewed focus by the G8 on fighting global hunger,” said Robert Zachritz, World Vision’s director for advocacy and government relations in the U.S. “Tackling the need must include long-term agricultural development and providing quality nutrition, as well as food aid, and this initiative is a bold move towards a more holistic approach to ending global hunger. We urge leaders to back this approach with funds and action.” Obama was warmly greeted in Ghana on his way home from the G8. Ghana is the only sub-Saharan African nation to meet the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals to chop the number of hungry in half by 2015. World Food Program statistics show Ghana has reduced its hungry population from 5.4 million people in 1990 to 1.4 million in 2005. World Vision urged caution, however, because of the $25 billion pledged by G8 leaders in 2005 for increased food and medical development by 2010 which has not materialized to the anticipated degree. “Considering their failure to meet their promise to double aid to Africa by 2010, the G8 must seize this opportunity to help save millions of lives and demonstrate global leadership,” said Patrick Watt, head of World Vision’s G8 campaign. “If this renewed focus on fighting global hunger is followed through, it will be the best decision the G8 leaders have made in L’Aquila.” Links: G8 statement on food security: http://www.g8italia2009.it/G8/Home/News/G8-G8_Layout_locale-1199882116809_1246708102771.htm World Vision: http://www.worldvision.org/

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