Vienna, 15 October 2010 Press release

Spindelegger: “Many partners are needed in the fight against hunger and poverty”

Austria’s Foreign Minister comments on World Food Day and the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

Vienna, 15 October 2010 – “Poverty cannot be eradicated without a secure and sustainable food supply, nor can food security be accomplished whilst there is poverty. A drastic reduction in hunger and poverty is therefore a top priority in international development policy,” stated Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger in a speech marking World Food Day on October 16th and the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on October 17th. “Austria, too, is committed to these goals: all Austrian Development Co-operation programmes are aimed at ongoing improvement in the living conditions of people in our partner countries. Examples include large-scale potable water supply schemes in Uganda, as well as rural development programmes in Mozambique,” elaborated the Foreign Minister.

Recently, the global economic crisis and the consequences of climate change have retarded positive developments in many countries: “We hope that the forthcoming climate summit in Mexico will push forward the attainment of global climate objectives. We shall remain committed to the goal of more stability and security in developing countries. The prevention of conflict and good governance are instrumental in achieving human security and the promotion of economic progress. Many partners acting in a concerted manner are necessary to ensure development and the permanent eradication of poverty and hunger. Private enterprise is thus also called upon to commit itself to the realisation of innovative business ideas capable of adding value for the population at the local level,” stated the Foreign Minister.

According to the FAO, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, about a billion people live in chronic hunger. Approximately half of them are small farmers and the majority live in developing countries: most, namely 578 million, live in Asia and the Pacific region, while 239 million people in sub-Saharan Africa have no secure food supply.

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