Deputy Representative to ECOSOC John F. Sammis today said the United Stated do not believe the world is currently in a world food crisis.
“The resolution “The right to food” reiterates previous language on a continuing world food crisis. Whereas we agree that we are experiencing regional crises, particularly in the Horn of Africa, and we are experiencing a period of food and commodity price volatility in some parts of the world, we, along with many other members of the world community, do not believe we are currently in a world food crisis.” -Mr. Sammis
In his explanation on the resolution “The right to food” before the Third Committee, Mr. Sammis said improving global food security is a key foreign policy objective of the Obama Administration.
He noted that the U.S. government has launched the Feed the Future initiative, and pledged at least $3.5 billion over three years to help our partner countries improve the entire agriculture value chain – from fields to markets to homes.
He cited that the United States is committed to accelerating progress towards the Millennium Development Goals, including by investing in country plans to boost agricultural development as a means for achieving the hunger and poverty-related MDG- reducing by half the proportion of people who suffer from hunger and who live in extreme poverty by 2015.
He explained it has been reinforced by such UN bodies as the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), which have issued warnings about high food prices and price volatility but have made clear that the current situation is not a world food crisis.
“Furthermore, while the resolution identifies a number of factors that contribute to food insecurity, it omits the very significant and undisputed role of conflict and lack of governance in causing regional food insecurity.” -Mr. Sammis
He stressed that while the world is not currently in a global food crisis, he stressed the United States strongly agree with the reference to the crisis in the Horn of Africa, where there are over 13 million people who are at risk of starvation and malnutrition.
“As many as 750,000 people are currently experiencing famine-level conditions. Tens of thousands of people, mostly children, have already died. The United States is the largest donor of humanitarian assistance to the region, now providing over $750 million in life-saving assistance to those in need.” -Mr. Sammis
He stressed that the United States supports the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living, including food, as recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.