Delegates have gathered in Rome ahead of the 30th World Food Day, and are hearing much more needs to be done if the UN objective of eradicating global hunger is to be met by the target date of 2025.
A number of world leaders and celebrities are attending, among them singer Celine Dion and actress Susan Sarandon, who are both being made goodwill ambassadors.
“I went to India and Tanzania as a UN ambassador. And I saw mothers waiting for hours and hours for health care and for food. It was so shocking to me. And again recently in Haiti. So I guess we just try to remind people these things are going on,” said Sarandon.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame says by 2015 countries should combine their efforts to halve the number of hungry people, but that would still leave half a billion on the edge of starvation.
Many delegates stressed the need to bring people out of poverty, and to invest more in agriculture and rural development to counter a structural problem in food production.