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EU Development Days open with focus on hunger in Africa


brussels bureau

EU Development Days open with focus on hunger in Africa

This year’s opening of the European Development Days coincides with World Food Day – an occasion to remind us that around one billion people face hunger.

Food security will be one of the main topics discussed by politicians, academics and NGOs at the event in Brussels.

Africa is the only continent where hunger is on the rise – despite its agricultural potential.

More development aid could help, according to Mozambique’s President Armando Emílio Guebuza who addressed delegates on the first day of the event.

“To increase productivity, we need technical and professional training in order to improve agricultural seeds, to know how to better use them, to better manage irrigation and how to reduce losses during harvest and post-harvest periods,” Guebuza told euronews.

The EU donates one billion euros a year to tackle hunger. It might do more if member states agree to increase development aid by 20 percent in the 2014-2020 budget, as proposed by the Commission.

“Definitely nobody challenges the need to increase development, but it is more a discussion on the overall package. How much money should be channelled through the EU and how much should be going through the member countries?” said the EU’s Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs.

With food prices going up, the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation this month warned about a possible new hunger crisis like the one in 2007-08.

From the event in Brussels, euronews correspondent Isabel Marques da Silva said: “Besides food security, thousands of delegates will discuss the private sector’s role and ideas to strengthen civil society.

“There will also be presentations of the 2012 reports on World Disasters and the Global Hunger Index,” she added.

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