UN food chief calls for bolstered support to feed world’s hungry billion
31 December 2009 – With the number of chronically hungry people topping one billion for the first time in history, a coordinated effort to feed the world is crucial for the coming year, the head of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said today.
In a statement, Josette Sheeran, WFP’s Executive Director, thanked global, national and community action for already saving millions of people. This year, the WFP strove to deliver food assistance of some 108 million people in 74 countries.
“As we look ahead to 2010, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the support, generosity and hard work that nations across the world have dedicated to the fight against hunger,” Ms. Sheeran said.
She noted that the end of the decade has witnessed much suffering, unprecedented natural disasters and deadly conflicts.
The WFP itself lost staff members this year. Just last week, a staff member was among eight people killed in a suicide bomb attack in the city of Kandahar in southern Afghanistan.
“Yet our spirit of compassion remains unbroken and our determination to reach out to the most vulnerable is undeterred,” Ms. Sheeran said. “These losses have brought us all ever closer, allowing the challenges and wounds to bind us, rather than divide us.”
She voiced hope that the coming decade “will be filled with hope, opportunity and security for every single child on earth. Working together, we can make this a reality.”