Saturday, June 20, 2009

World Food Prize Announcement Ceremony 2009

"The issue of chronic hunger and food security is at the top of the agenda that we’re pursuing here in the State Department and in the Obama Administration. This morning, one billion people around the world woke up hungry. Tonight, they will go to sleep hungry. Today, in a village in Niger, a woman will walk for miles in search of water to irrigate crops that are parched by drought. Today, in Haiti, a farmer’s surplus fruit will go to waste because he has no way to store it or to bring it to market. Today, in Congo, a family will flee a conflict that has left their farms and fields fallow. And today, in a schoolhouse in Bangladesh, children will struggle to learn because their bodies are struggling to survive on insufficient nutrition.

The effects of chronic hunger cannot be overstated. Hunger is not only a physical condition, it is a drain on economic development, a threat to global security, a barrier to health and education, and a trap for the millions of people worldwide who work from sunup to sundown every single day but can barely produce enough food to sustain their lives and the lives of their families. Most of all, hunger belies our planet’s bounty. It challenges our common humanity and resolve. We do have the resources to give every person in the world the tools they need to feed themselves and their children.

So the question is not whether we can end hunger, it’s whether we will.

The Obama Administration is committed to providing leadership in developing a new global approach to hunger. For too long, our primary response has been to send emergency aid when the crisis is at its worst. This saves lives, but it doesn't address hunger’s root causes. It is, at best, a short-term fix."

- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Read the full speech here.