Miguel Ángel Moratinos
Former Spanish Foreign Minister
During my campaign for Director General of the FAO in June 2011, I committed, in case of being elected, to: eradicate hunger in the world. Some candidates joined my commitment and, finally, all of them agreed to defend this objective. This goal was included as a priority in the new sustainability agenda approved on 25 September 2015. Among the 17 objectives, the second one highlights the need of eliminating hunger from the world.
Five years have passed since that election and, however, hunger and food crises keep being dramatically present in the world.
Once more, we have recently witnessed the official announcement made by the Government of Somalia declaring as national disaster the situation in its country as well as the need to urgently act facing the possibility of 260,000 people dying of hunger again.
According to the data published by the WHO, between Somalia, Yemen, Nigeria and South Sudan more than 20 million people are at risk of dying of hunger in these four countries. It also points out that more than 6.2 million people, half of Somalia’s population, need food assistance and another 3 million are starving.
In my programme during the candidacy for the FAO I denounced the practices and lack of action of the old FAO. Its absolute inability to predict and avoid similar crises. The lack of leadership to prevent this humanly unacceptable situation. I emphasized that unless action was taken, the “Chronicle of a famine foretold” will keep repeating in the future and will become “daily bread” for this organization. Therefore, after more than 70 years since its creation, it was time for the FAO to finally prevent these humanitarian dramas.
It seems that we do not learn and when we listen to this terrible news, at the same time, we are being informed of the increase by 10% of the North American military budget and this being raised by 639,000 million dollars. Facing this military increase, the call in extremis of the new UN Secretary-General to meet the urgent needs of more than 22 million starving people in the Horn of Africa falls on deaf ears.
Where is the FAO? What has its position been? We cannot make excuses anymore, this organization should reflect and assume that by not being able to prevent, avoid and solve these humanitarian disasters, its raison d’être disappears. It would be better to give to other agencies or organizations the task of guaranteeing a world where there are no more deaths caused by hunger.
10/03/2017. © All rights reserved