This blog deals with resources and events related to the 2020 Vision Conference on "Taking Action for the World's Poor and Hungry People." You can follow these stories and comment on them by visiting this site before, during and after the conference.
Message from Dr. John J. Otim, Senior Advisor to President Museveni of Uganda
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A global conference on “ Taking Action for the World’s Poor and Hungry People” organized jointly by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the Government of China has just ended in Beijing with a call on new types of action that must be taken to reduce poverty fast and end hunger soon. Poverty was defined as deficiencies of wealth, physical well-being and social inclusion. Hunger was understood as deficiencies in access to food and healthy nutrition.
The conference brought together more than 400 leading international and Chinese policy-makers and thinkers, 25 ministerial, / vice ministerial participants, globally renowned researchers, practitioners from NGOs, international agencies and the private sector from 40 countries. Over 100 scientific and policy presentations were made and over 60 policy briefs and research papers were made available. These presentations and policy briefs highlighted what it will take to move out of poverty and eliminate hunger. But they also noted with great concern that progress was slowest in Africa and South Asia in addressing the plight of the poorest of the poor and that ultra-poor are mostly left behind. Regarding poverty reduction, it was noted that the world has made considerable progress but regional progress is uneven with poverty reduction minimal or stagnating in Sub-Sahara Africa. Read more »
At the turn of the millennium seven years ago, the international community made a commitment to halve the proportion of people living in extreme poverty and hunger between 1990 and 2015. Now, at the halfway point between the millennium declaration and the deadline, it is clear the world has achieved considerable progress. However, though poverty and malnutrition rates are declining, it is less clear who is actually being helped. Are development programs reaching those most in need, or are they primarily benefiting those who are easier to reach, leaving the very poorest behind?
Bernard Njonga, Secretary General, Service d’Appui aux Initiatives
Locales de Developpement (SAILD), Cameroon
Mr. Njonga gives a brief overview of lessons learned from the last day of the conference and directions for future efforts.
Roy Steiner, Senior Program Officer for Agricultural Development, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
“There really is momentum gathering around agricultural development in particular…In an area that’s really been neglected for two decades, I think the world is recognizing that agriculture is critical to poverty and there’s going to be real sustained, serious investment and thought into making a difference.”
Kamal Hyat, Chief Executive, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund
Mr. Hyat reflects on several lessons learned from the conference, stressing the importance of the “human side” (of development), reminding us that “people only respond to good initiatives.”
John Joseph Otim, president, Agricultural Council of Uganda
“In the context of Africa, issues are coming out very clearly that there is need to focus more closely to help Africa come out of poverty and hunger because that is where at the moment the highest level of ultra poor and medial poor populations exist. It is in this context that support form donors, support from China, to the African governments, civil societies, farmers’ organizations, private sector will make a difference.”