Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Congratulations World Food Prize Recipients!

Congratulations to former Ghanaian President John Agyekum Kufuor and former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva for receiving the 2011 World Food Prize (WFP)! The WFP recognizes achievements in the improvement of quality, quantity, or availability of food, and this year marks the 25th year that the WFP has been awarded.

President Kufuor spent his two terms focused on economic and educational reform that resulted in greater availability of food, quality of food, and income for local farmers. One example of this reform is the Ghana School Feeding Program which provides children with one meal a day at school, leading to increased attendance, and, ultimately, greater economic stability. Millennium Development Goal One includes halving the number of people living on less than a dollar a day from 1990-2015. President Kufuor nearly achieved that within Ghana after his policies achieved a reduction in poverty from 51.7 percent of the population in 1991 to 26.5 percent in 2004. In addition, these policies led to a 25 percent drop in hunger.

Former Brazilian President Silva has also made notable advancements in the area of food security. President Silva set out in his presidency to alleviate poverty and ensure that the Brazilian people were receiving three meals a day. He nearly met this goal during his eight years in office, at which time 93 percent of children and 82 percent of adults eating three meals a day; and he more than halved those living in extreme poverty in his country within a six-year time span. President Silva’s “Zero Hunger” strategy included a school lunch program with nearly one-third of the food being supplied by local farmers. In addition, he started a welfare program to provide families a monthly income and access to education, day care, and health facilities.