Thought for the Day

But above all, nobody understands how: first, the OECD countries have created a distortion of world markets with the 372 billion dollars spent in 2006 on supporting their agriculture; next, that in a single country food wastage can amount to 100 billion dollars annually; that the excess consumption by the world’s obese costs 20 billion dollars annually, to which must be added indirect costs of 100 billion dollars resulting from premature death and related diseases; and finally that in 2006 the world spent 1 200 billion dollars on the purchase of arms. Against that backdrop, how can we explain to people of good sense and good faith that it was not possible to find 30 billion dollars a year to enable 862 million hungry people to enjoy the most fundamental of human rights: the right to food, and thus the right to life? It is resources of this order of magnitude that would make it possible definitively to lay to rest the spectre of conflicts over food that are looming on the horizon.

Jacques Diouf FAO Director General at the FAO summit on food security.

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