You are here

Task force report identifies priorities

The Chief Executive of Concern Worldwide, Tom Arnold, has warmly welcomed the recommendations contained in the report of the Irish Government-appointed Hunger Task Force.

The report was launched at the United Nations in New York this morning. It identifies three “critical areas” in the fight against hunger: increasing agricultural productivity in Africa; targeting the prevention of maternal and infant malnutrition and ensuring governments deliver on their commitments to reduce hunger.

Ireland’s role

Tom Arnold, who served on the Task Force, said the report identifies the right priorities for Ireland and for tackling hunger globally.

“Ireland has already shown the sort of leadership required by setting up this high-level task force in the first place and it is fitting that its findings are being launched this morning by Taoiseach Brian Cowen.

“There is a clear opportunity for Ireland to be an influential advocate in the fight against global hunger. One of the first ways it can do that is by placing an even greater focus in its own aid budget on programmes aimed at eradicating hunger. In doing so, Ireland will set an example to others.”

A shared task

However, as the Hunger Task Force report points out, the actions it proposes cannot be carried out by governments alone. Tackling world hunger is a shared task that requires partnerships with NGOs, education bodies, research institutions, the private sector and others.”

Fighting hunger conference

“Concern, as Ireland’s largest humanitarian agency, is already playing its part,” added Tom Arnold. “In just a few weeks time, on World Food Day, we will be bringing together some of the world’s leading advocates on tackling hunger and poverty at a major conference in Dublin.

Millennium goals

“This week at the UN Summit in New York, we are reviewing progress on the Millennium Development Goals – the first one of which is to halve world hunger by 2015. The reality is that the global situation has changed since those targets were set.

Action is needed

“What we need now is action not words. There has been, as the report notes, an ‘absence of political will’ and a ‘failure of governance’. Ireland will show that it has the political will on this crucial issue if it implements the recommendations contained in today’s report,” Tom concluded.

Click here to read the full report (4MB)