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AfDB chief, others seek US intervention to end hunger 

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The President of African Development Bank (AfDB) Group and winner of the 2017 World Food Prize, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has joined other World Food Prize laureates to call on United States President, Joe Biden to intervene through appropriate policy measures to end global hunger.

In a letter to Biden, a group of 24 scientists, economists, researchers and other past winners of the World Food Prize, including Adesina, described America’s role in tackling the scourge of global hunger as foundational.

They urged Biden to re-establish America’s global leadership to end hunger and play a leadership role in the upcoming UN Food Systems Summit and other global initiatives.

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The statement read: “As the world staggers out of COVID-19 and into the light of 2021, we seek to illuminate our collective path towards 2030. We urge the Biden-Harris administration to focus on the promise to Build Back Better in transforming our food systems.

“The United States leadership in ending global hunger is imperative and must be backed by bold actions and personal commitment by the U.S. to engage on major global initiatives. Nothing is more important than ending global hunger and malnutrition.

“The opportunity for renewed U.S. leadership to transform food systems has never been greater. The appetite of partners around the world to work with the U.S. in both the public and private sectors is strong. We urge the Biden-Harris Administration to seize this moment and invest in development and cooperation to achieve zero hunger by 2030. “

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Adesina said: “Without food, medicines don’t work. Food and nutrition are the vaccines against hunger. Let’s vaccinate the world against hunger.”

It would be recalled that in 2009 post-financial crisis and as a result of the L’Aquila Declaration, the U.S. announced the $3.5b Feed the Future Initiative with bipartisan support, helping to reverse decades-long declines in funding for food and agriculture around the world. This American investment prompted collective global investments of $22b and triggered progress for hundreds of millions.

According to the recent Ceres2030 report, the world could end global hunger by 2030 with an extra annual investment of $33b, a small fraction of the world’s COVID-19 mitigation investment.” 

The World Food Prize was created by Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Norman Borlaug in 1986 to recognise scientists and others who have improved the quality and availability of food. The $250,000 prize is awarded yearly by the Des Moines, Iowa-based World Food Prize Foundation, which gets support from more than 80 companies, foundations and individuals.

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