Archive for May, 2012

A New Commitment to Food Security from G8, but Empty Promises Remain

Posted on Friday, May 25th, 2012 at 7:58 am

By Tom Arnold, CEO, Concern Worldwide

Tom Arnold with Beverly Oda of the Canadian International Development Agency and Etharin Cousin of the UN World Food Programme

I have just returned from a whirlwind visit to Washington, DC and Chicago, where I participated in a number of events around the G8 and NATO Summits focused on food and nutrition security.  Among so many world leaders and high-level representatives from civil society and academia, I felt a sense of critical mass beginning to form in the fight to end global hunger.

It’s a feeling I’ve had before – perhaps not this strong – only to be disappointed when promises went unfulfilled.  We must keep calling our leaders to persevere, especially those in the G8, to ensure that does not happen this time.

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Too much at stake: The G8’s responsibility to tackle child hunger

Posted on Wednesday, May 16th, 2012 at 1:00 pm

By Tom Arnold, CEO, Concern Worldwide

Two month old Ejereya Kahale sitting with her mother in Kargi, Kenya

Almost 1,000 days ago, on July 10, 2009, the G8 met at L’Aquila, Italy and issued a joint statement  launching the ‘L’Aquila Food Security Initiative’ (AFSI), committing the member nations to a  $22-billion investment over three years aimed at  responding to the ‘urgent need for decisive action to free humankind from hunger.’

Of the roughly 385,000 children born on that day, many of the poorest of them would have died in infancy and early childhood.  Those who survived would now be nearing the critical 1,000th day between their mother’s pregnancy and their second birthday. Read the rest of this entry »

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Kenya’s Slum Dwellers Receive a Welcome Lifeline

Posted on Friday, May 11th, 2012 at 1:01 pm

The Government of Kenya recently launched a cash transfer program that will give 10,000 of the poorest people living in Nairobi’s Mombasa slum 2,000 shillings – roughly $22 – a month for eight months. As a long-time advocate for cash transfers, especially in Kenya, we at Concern Worldwide celebrated the news, largely because we know from our own experience that it works.

Felicitas Wairimu works on her grocery stall in Nairobi's Korogocho slum. She was one of the beneficiaries of Concern's cash transfer program at the height of the 2011 drought crisis. Photo: Phil Moore

Even though $22 may seem small in our context, you have to remember that for the poorest, having this amount every month means, for the first time in their lives, they are receiving predictable and reliable income. For the first time, they are able to plan. We know that by giving people the opportunity to solve their own problems and make decisions about how to best fulfill their needs, families’ educations, health and nutrition standards are all raised.

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