G8 looks to private sector for help fighting hunger

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G8 looks to private sector for help fighting hunger

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The leaders of the world’s industrial powers are calling on the private sector to help fight hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.

The G8 has launched a new initiative that will help major corporations to help small farmers, mainly in Africa, boost productivity.

Before he travelled to Camp David, US President Barack Obama announced corporate pledges of three billion dollars (2.3 billion euros).

“Some have asked in a time of austerity whether this alliance is just a way for government to shift the burden onto somebody else. I want to be clear. The answer is no,” he said.

The US president said the pledges from the private companies, along with contributions from donor countries, are aimed at boosting farmers’ incomes and helping 50 million people lift themselves out of poverty over the next 10 years.

Obama also said that reducing malnutrition and hunger “would advance international peace and security”.

Global food prices soared in 2008, which the US State Department says prompted riots in more than 60 nations.