Closing a UN summit in Rome, world leaders have pledged to combat the suffering caused by soaring food prices. While critics claim concrete proposals are lacking, Washington’s representative was upbeat.
“No agreements are better than bad agreements, always,” said US Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer.
“But, if nothing else, nations came together to recognise the problem and while the short-term problem here is one of a food crisis, we have seen a lot of talk about donations, about money being put on the table.”
In the past, good intentions have often failed to produce results. Today the stakes could not be higher, according to one of the African delegates.
Mary Chinery-Hesse, Chief Advisor to the President of Ghana, told the summit: “The food crisis which the world faces today is so serious that it would be disastrous for the survival of mankind if the conclusions reached at this historic summit suffer the same fate.”
The World Bank says 100 million people risk joining the 850 million already going hungry. But differences remain over how to stop that happening and rows over trade and biofuels marked the three day gathering.