You are here

New public/private partnership launched to alleviate world hunger

Details of a unique international research initiative to alleviate world hunger were announced in Dublin today. The initiative involves a three-way partnership between Concern, the Kerry Group and the Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

Its aim is to develop innovative policies and solutions that will ease hunger and malnutrition, which currently afflicts 900 million people globally.

It brings together Concern’s experience in 30 of the world’s most vulnerable countries with the commercial expertise of the Kerry Group, Ireland’s largest global food company, and the acknowledged capability of IFPRI, the world’s leading authority on nutrition and food policy research.

Announcing details of the initiative, Tom Arnold, Chief Executive of Concern, said it is a unique example of co-operation between the public, private and non-governmental sector in working towards the goal of eliminating world hunger.

Mr Arnold is also a member of the recently appointed Government Task Force on Hunger. He said that innovative approaches to alleviating hunger and malnutrition, and dealing with HIV and AIDS, developed by Concern in recent years, have now been adopted by the United Nations as best international practice. “The commercial and research expertise that the Kerry Group and IFPRI bring to this new partnership offers exciting opportunities to enhance our efforts in the fight against world hunger,” he said.

Following an international competition, a leading research scientist, Dr Rahul Rawat, has been appointed to lead the new initiative, a core focus of which will be on research on nutrition, health and child survival. He will work with Concern staff, with scientists in IFPRI and executives in the Kerry Group in developing new solutions to tackle hunger and malnutrition. “This is a truly innovative partnership that promises to move beyond business as usual in addressing hunger. Our three-way partnership will focus on poor communities as partners in new and effective ways” said Dr Joachim von Braun, Director General of IFPRI.

The involvement of the Kerry Group is a first for a major Irish food company. Kerry supplies over 10,000 food, food ingredients and flavour products to more than 140 countries and has a global workforce in excess of 23,000.

Chief Executive, Hugh Friel, said the company’s involvement in the partnership is an expression of its corporate social responsibility to confronting the biggest humanitarian and social problem facing the world today.  

“Apart from our contribution of €500,000 towards funding this three year research programme, I am confident that the technological and marketing capability of Kerry combined with the on-the-ground expertise of Concern’s 4,000 staff and the international strengths of IFPRI in food and nutrition research can make a real difference in the fight against global hunger,” said Hugh Friel.