Waldner: Hunger in the world needs more than emergency aid alone
Austrian State Secretary at the Caritas Österreich Vienna conference on hunger in the world and long-term securing of food
Vienna, 1 June 2012 - Nearly one billion people in the world suffer from hunger and malnutrition. “Austria has always demonstrated its solidarity in emergency situations – only recently, for example, with its support for Eastern Africa and the Sahel. Immediate humanitarian relief is essential and can help relieve distress temporarily. In the medium and long term, however, our development cooperation initiatives are geared at ensuring sustainable food security. In line with the motto: moving away from emergency aid and towards self-help”, Austrian State Secretary Wolfgang Waldner said on the occasion of the conference on global hunger and long-term food security held by Caritas Österreich in Vienna.
“We dedicate our efforts to promoting small farms that can form the basis of long-term food security. Only when local farmers are able to provide the food that the people in their area need, will it be possible to prevent catastrophic famines and ensure long-term food security.” Austria’s current development cooperation schemes in Ethiopia, Mozambique, Burkina Faso and Nicaragua focus on rural development and help to assure the local food supply by supporting small local farms that produce for their region, in contrast with monocultures producing for export.
In future, greater focus will be placed on the decisive criterion of economic and ecological sustainability. “In the long run, only help for self-help will be successful. Empowerment, social justice, fair conditions of trade and optimised resource management will entail future-oriented solutions for the countries concerned”, the State Secretary continued. “This objective also requires international efforts to improve the role of international markets as well as fair adjustments of international trade and fiscal policies”, Waldner concluded.
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