State Secretary Wolfgang Waldner at the DialogEntwicklung event „Hunger Leads to Conflict“
Vienna, 30 August 2011 – Almost a million people worldwide suffer from hunger and malnutrition. Why, and what can be done against it? This is the topic discussed today at the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna by State Secretary Wolfgang Waldner together with experts as part of the DialogEntwicklung event titled „Hunger Causes Conflicts“ upon the invitation of the Austrian Development Cooperation Agency (ADA).
„Starving people like those in the Horn of Africa now need quick and well-organized aid measures. In the long run, however, we must strive towards a socially just and ecologically sustainable structural change“, said Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor Michael Spindelegger in the runup to the event, adding that „Misguided policies, a lack of government structures, and instability are amongst the greatest obstacles to development today. Hunger leads to conflicts. Vice versa, however, conflicts lead to food insecurity.“
In his opening statement, State Secretary Waldner said: „The reasons behind the food insecurity we are currently faced with are manifold and interrelated. Experts, however, agree partner and donor countries have pursued misguided policies for a long time. This is also clearly demonstrated by the crisis in East Africa: It is not about „development policy“ but about global structural policy that will establish the conditions for sustainable human development worldwide.“
„We lack effective mechanisms to create social and ecological compensation for imbalances and excesses on a global scale. Not only for the current generations, but also for future ones“, said Waldner. The EU has a particular responsibility to bear in this. Europe already undertakes several measures to contribute to worldwide food safety. We must continue on this course, since European agricultural policy also has a direct influence on food security and the right to food in other parts of the world. „This is one of the main reasons why the goal of global food security must be introduced in all EU policies“, concluded the State Secretary.
Food security is one of the priorities of the Austrian Development Cooperation. In 2010, the Austrian Development Agency spent more than 13 million euros on rural development and agriculture. Depending on the respective socio-economic conditions and natural circumstances, the agency backs different measures to achieve its goals. For instance, it supports small family farm enterprises in securing their production and generating additional income. Equal access to natural resources such as land and water, and the opportunity to take up loans and to acquire the necessary information and knowledge constitute decisive factors in increasing production and securing food supply.
Federal Ministry for
European and International Affairs
Tel.: ++43 (0) 50 1150-3262, 4549, 4550
Fax: ++43 (0) 50 1159-213