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Hunger, md gs and sust. strat

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  • 1. HUNGER, THE MDGs AND SUSTAINABLE STRATEGIES<br />Prof. Dr. Willem Van Cotthem<br />University of Ghent (Belgium)<br />I have been reading again and again " THE 1 BILLIONHUNGRY PROJECT" introduction:<br />" THE 1 BILLIONHUNGRY PROJECT<br /> <br />Hunger, a quiet crisis, is rarely in the news.<br /> <br />Yet current calculations show that close to one billion people worldwide continue to go hungry on a daily basis. It now appears all but certain that the hunger target associated with UN Millennium Development Goal no. 1 – reduction of hunger by half by 2015 – will not be met.<br /> <br />On reflection, it is a situation that stirs feelings of frustration, indignation, even anger. Most people, if they believed it was within their power to change things, would take action.<br /> <br />The 1billionhungry project is a global communication campaign that offers a constructive outlet for people’s feelings of anger and indignation. It is a carefully orchestrated drive to attract at least one million signatures to a petition calling on national and international leaders to move hunger to the top of the political agenda." <br /> <br />--------------------------------------------------------------<br /> <br />Some questions keep coming to my mind:<br /> <br />* Will the political leaders really be " moved" by this petition and move hunger to the top of the political agenda?<br />* Aren't the MDGs their most important political agenda, with poverty and hunger as Goal No. 1?<br />* Do we remember well the content of MDG 1 ? :<br /> <br /> <br />" Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger<br /> <br />* Target 1A: ...................<br />* Target 1B: .....................<br />* Target 1C: Halve the proportion of people who suffer from hunger<br />o Prevalence of underweight children under five years of age<br />o Proportion of population below minimum level of dietary energy consumption" <br /> <br />-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------<br /> <br />More questions remain:<br />* Will this petition really change something at the decisions already taken by those leaders?<br />* When will something really change in a sustainable way?<br />* Why don't the " 1 million people feeling frustration, anger and indignation" come up with suggestions about the best practices to combat hunger?<br />* Which are the efficient solutions, different from the actual ones leaving the daily situation of 1 billion people hungry almost unchanged during the last decades (notwithstanding a recent reduction to 925 million)?<br /> ------------<br />1 million signatures should not be a final objective of this project, it should be the start of an efficient program based upon success stories, if not by the political leaders and their national and international organizations, then by the hundreds of organizations of the 1 million people who have signed this petition (" Most people, if they believed it was within their power to change things, would take action." <br />And I signed it too!  So, let us create the power to change things, let us take action, following all those who already take action to produce their own food, e.g. the ever-growing group of the so-called city farmers.<br />A new dawn?  Absolutely not, for already in World Wars I and II the political leaders decided to offer allotments to the poor, a sustainable strategy to alleviate poverty and hunger, still well alive and kicking (see the thousands of allotment gardens all over the world).<br />Well, well, isn't that MDG 1 all over?<br />

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