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CIDSE & Caritas Internationalis News Release - A recipe for prolonged global hunger

16. November 2009

    ROME/BRUSSELS - The international networks of Catholic development and humanitarian agencies CIDSE and Caritas Internationalis, together the largest alliance of development agencies in the world, say the World Food Summit has failed to produce a concrete agenda for moving away from business as usual, even as the number of hungry in the world continues to rise.  CIDSE and Caritas react to the disappointing outcome declaration, which was issued already on the first day of the Summit.

    “Holding a Global Summit on Food Security now was extremely important to keep the political and public spotlight on the issue of spiraling world hunger.  But the outcome Declaration has brought nothing concrete, and many of its statements are open to wide and often concerning interpretations,” said Alicia Kolmans, from CIDSE’s German member, Misereor.

    “The Declaration reaffirms the need to invest in small-scale agriculture, but there are no concrete proposals how this should best be done, nor have leaders committed to mobilising the necessary financial commitments within the next five years,” said Bob van Dillen from Cordaid, the Dutch member of the Caritas and CIDSE networks.

    The civil society forum held in parallel to the Summit brought together people from North and South, from every continent, and included farmers’ associations and social movements, NGOs, as well as womens’, youth and indigenous groups.

    Michael O’ Brien from Trocaire, the Irish member of the CIDSE and Caritas networks, noted “there is a clear consensus amongst all these stakeholders that the liberalisation agenda promoted over the last decades by the World Bank and other actors has categorically failed, and that there is a real need to  strengthen farmer’s involvement in policy making and implementation.”

    “If the international community is serious about investing in small-scale agriculture in developing countries to deliver food security and poverty reduction, it must commit to working with agencies and actors that have a history and capacity to work with small-scale farmers,” said Ambroise Mazal of CCFD, CIDSE’s French member organisation.

    “Governments recognised last year the need to improve global governance of food, and an important first step was made with the agreement on the reform of the Committee on Food Security a few weeks ago.  All stakeholders must invest together in this Committee to ensure it produces real policy change, and that these policies are adhered to,” said Alberta Guerra from FOCSIV, CIDSE’s Italian member organisation.   

    CIDSE and Caritas welcome Pope Benedict XVI’s intervention at the Summit. In his morning address to leaders at the Summit, he said that the right to food has an important place within the pursuit of the universal rights of all human beings, beginning with the fundamental right to life. Solidarity with poor countries and involvement of local communities is required to promote sustainable agricultural development.


    CIDSE and Caritas experts are available for interview or comment in Rome. Contact the following for interview:
    Ambroise Mazal (French) Comité Catholique Contre la Faim et pour le Développement, French member of CIDSE T: +33 679 443 381

    Alicia Kolmans (English, German) Misereor, German member of CIDSE T: +39-06 70453888; +491717848411
     
    Bob van Dillen (English, Dutch) Cordaid, Dutch member of CIDSE and Caritas T: +31(0) 622568975
     
    Sergio Marelli, Director, and Alberta Guerra (Italian, English), FOCSIV, Italian member of CIDSE T: +39 349 16 14 419

    Michael O'Brien (English) Trocaire, Irish member of CIDSE and Caritas, mobrien@trocaire.ie


The Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance is a broad international network of churches and Christian organizations cooperating in advocacy on food and HIV and AIDS. The Alliance is based in Geneva, Switzerland. For more information, see http://www.e-alliance.ch/

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